Our dryer emits a loud buzz when it is finished drying our clothes and this scares our toddler. Every time he hears it he runs to his Daddy or me, terrified. We hold him for a moment and then gently explain to him, “The dryer is just saying ‘I’m done. I’m done drying your clothes'” We tell him “Don’t be afraid. The dryer will not hurt you.”
I thought of Zechariah and how terrified when he was when he saw the angel Gabriel. Gabriel calmed his fears with these words, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard” (Luke 1:13). The angel said the same thing to Mary who was troubled. “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God” (verse 30).
The best example of calming fears was when the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water and they were frightened. They thought they were seeing a ghost. Matthew tells us that immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid” (Matthew 14:27). Jesus did not wait until He got into the boat to calm their fears. He did so immediately. When our toddler runs to us in fear we stop whatever we are doing and attend to him. Our response to his fear is immediate just as the Lord’s is to ours.
When we are afraid or troubled, the Lord is right there to calm us and assure us that we have nothing to fear because He is always just a prayer away.