Coping With Fear

As for me, I trust in You, O Lord.  – Psalm 31:14

Many people are afraid of flying, me included. The thought of being airborne fills me with a great deal of anxiety. It seemed unnatural and beyond my control. For that reason the American Phobic Society recommends these techniques for coping with the fear of commercial flying:

  • Avoid sugar and caffeine before and during a flight.
  • Lean back at takeoff; let your muscles go limp.
  • Rate your anxiety on a scale from 1 to 10. Think positive thoughts; note how much your fear decreases.
  • Breathe deeply; close your eyes; stretch your arms.
  • Wear a rubber band on your wrist and snap it to break unpleasant thoughts.

These are five good suggestions, but I tell you what, none worked for me.

But I have a sixth that works with all kinds of fear. In fact, it’s the most important of all and I use it every time I can: Put your trust in God. 

David did in Psalm 31. There a conspiracy had arisen against him. His friends had left him. His reign appeared to be over. Death seemed certain. But he made a choice and declared, “As for me, I trust in You, O Lord” (v.14).

When you’re afraid, and the Lord knows we have all felt fear, it may help to breathe deeply or snap rubber bands. But don’t leave out the best way to cope with the fear of flying—or any other fear. That is to follow David’s example and put your trust in the Lord God almighty. Once you have done that, all fear flows away.

Lord, I believe, but gloomy fears
Sometimes will cloud my sight;
I look to You with prayers and tears,
And cry for strength and light.


Faith is God’s antidote for fear.

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