David wrote his thoughts as he lived his life. He wasn’t writing a text book to be studied by students, but he was recording his conversations with God. The Psalms are more like David’s diary than a course on faith. Whom did David have reason to fear when he wrote Psalm 27? Was it Saul, the most powerful man in the land who was jealous of David and wanted to kill him? That would be a safe guess, but we can’t know for sure because David doesn’t say. He simply says, “Whom shall I fear?”
People can certainly strike fear in our hearts. A boss who is looking for a reason to fire us at every turn, a bully lurking in the hallway waiting to ruin our day, or a phone call from the IRS informing us that they are on our trail. All of these and more can cause our hearts to race and fear to rise like lava in a volcano getting ready to erupt.
I know more people that are afraid of the “whats” of life rather than the “whoms.” I have a friend who just last week was waiting on a phone call to let her know if the tests confirmed or alleviated her fear of cancer. I have another friend who is stressed because of his obsession with his fear of dying. Parents fear their kids will make bad decisions. Children are afraid when a thunder storm rattles the windows in their bedroom late at night. Many people become fearful when they think about the uncertainty of the future. In a down economy people fear they are going to get laid off from their job and not be able to support their family. Fear can paralyze us, perplex us, and prevent us from ever imagining a better day. I know this, not from reading a text book or sitting in a class on the effects of fear–I know it because I’ve lived it.
David gives me a great game plan as to how I can stand toe-to-toe with fear and win. “The Lord is my light.” Fear has led me to a dark place in times past, but David reminds me that when darkness surrounds me, the Lord is my light. “The Lord is my salvation.” Fear has driven me to the depths, blinded me to hope, and robbed me of life, but the Lord is my salvation. He is my Rescuer. “The Lord is the stronghold of my life.” When fear begins to come over me I have a place, a safe place, to run–the Lord is my stronghold of my life, He is my Defender.
My prayer today, Lord, is that You will remind me of Your promises the next time fear comes knocking at the door of my heart and mind. Let me remember You are the Light that dispels the darkness of fear, You are the Salvation that rescues me from fear’s desire to bring about my demise, and You are the Stronghold that will guard and protect me from fear’s attacks.