I’m not sure how they ever figured it out; those scientists and really smart people who say that we humans are only born with two ‘factory-installed’ fears: The fear of falling, and the fear of loud noises. I’m not a scientist, and I’m certainly not a really smart person, but I do have to disagree with their findings.
If you think about it, a baby isn’t afraid of falling, until it experiences a fall. A sleeping infant isn’t afraid of a loud noise, until someone slams a door and startles that child. No human being walks around hoping it doesn’t thunder. We don’t live our lives afraid of loud noises until a loud noise happens. Then … we’re afraid.
When I contemplate fear in my life, it virtually always revolves around not some ‘boom’ or event or circumstance that has occurred in my life, but rather my reaction to that event or circumstance. I’m not generally afraid of an accident before it happens; I’m afraid of what my life will look like after I’ve had that accident.
That’s what I believe is factory-installed in every human being: A fear of not only the unknown but the unknowable. A fear that as life unfolds, the loud noises it makes are sure to come; stumblings and fallings will most certainly occur. You might say I’m afraid that something is going to happen that will make me … afraid.
No question, really. Bad things, difficult challenges, horrible occurrences happen every day. Jesus acknowledged that, when He said, “In the world, you will have tribulation.” No mystery, there. I don’t have to wonder, really, if the potential for a ‘loud noise’ in my life exists. I have no need to wonder. It has already been established as a foregone conclusion. So … shouldn’t that reality cause me to walk in fear, every day of my life? Shouldn’t I be afraid of what might happen? Afraid of what is inevitably going to happen?
I think so, unless … unless I finish reading and believe all of what Jesus said in John 16: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” No question, today. This world is reeling; the entire world is in a quandary, and fear has captured the lives of millions. A falling economy; an overwhelmed health system. Fear of the world falling apart. The deafening roar of rockets, and bombs, and Wars in Israel. Wars in the Ukraine.
And in the midst of this troubled and reeling world, He stands victoriously pronouncing, “Yes, I know. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart. I have overcome the world.” Trust is an antidote to fear. The Lord Jesus who has overcome the world will also overcome the ‘natural’ fear of life’s loud noises. Those who trust in Him … can overcome the fear of the falling.