Why Are You So Afraid?

The peace I give is a gift the world cannot give, so don’t be troubled or afraid.  John 14:27

Why are you so afraid? I ask myself this question every time I have to fly on an airplane and fear comes pounding at my heart’s door, filling my mind with such panic and anxiety to the point that I become physically sick. 

The thing is, I have not always had a fear of flying. A few bad flights and seeing those planes crash on 9/11 sent me into a world of fear. After 9/11 I refused to get on an airplane for five years. Fear left me grounded in a paralyzing prison.

“Fear never wrote a symphony or poem, negotiated a peace treaty, or cured a disease. Fear never pulled a family out of poverty or a country out of bigotry. Fear never saved a marriage or a business. Courage did that. Faith did that. People who refused to consult or cower to their timidities did that. But fear itself? Fear herds us into a prison and slams the door.”  Fearless – Max Lucado

So how do you walk out of the prison of fear?

In Mark 4:35-40 Jesus gives us the answer to our fears. 

After Jesus calms the storm that brought great fear to His disciples and made them question Him about whether He cared that they were perishing, He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”  Mark 4:40 ESV

The first question Jesus asked — “Why are you so afraid?” — is a strange question to ask when, moments earlier, his disciples were in danger of losing their lives. The storm was raging and the boat was filling up with water, with no hope of help. I would be afraid. Why shouldn’t they be afraid?  The second question Jesus asked — “Have you still no faith?” — gives the reason for their fear.

This is why we are afraid. This is why I stayed in my prison of fear for five years and refused to get on an airplane.  Fear leaves us doubting God is with us. Fear leaves us doubting God is for us. Fear leaves us doubting God really cares.

Faith is the answer to fear. Faith was my answer to getting on an airplane again. 

It took faith and courage for me to walk on an airplane and actually fly again. I did it afraid, but I did it knowing God was with me and cared for me, and by the time we took off I had peace in my heart instead of fear.

Today when I fly it still takes faith and courage for me to get on an airplane. It is easier, but I will tell friends I am not a fan of flying and ask them to pray whenever I fly. I also will take a verse from God’s Word and meditate on it, and it always calms my anxiety and gives me peace.

One of my fellow Breath on Paper writers, Elle Gray, texted me this scripture as I was sitting in the airport a few weeks ago waiting for my flight out. I wanted to share it with those of you who may be going through a storm and have become anxious and afraid. 

“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”  Isaiah 26:3 NLT

Focus on the One who is in control of heaven and earth and everything in both!


Cheryl Crawford is a daughter of the Most High King, saved by grace. Her degree and field of work are in accounting, but would trade it all to farm if she could. She enjoys reading, writing, gardening, SEC football and playing cards with friends. Cheryl is a natural organizer with a heart that loves to serve. You can read more about Cheryl on her BoP bio.

Photo by Nikola Ancevski on Unsplash


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