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This is a natural emotion when facing an uncertain future. I
certainly face it from time to time, as do members of my family and many
of my friends. I also receive scores of e-mail from people who do as
well.

I’m not a psychologist, so I’m afraid I can’t offer you much help in
dealing with fear from that perspective. However, I can tell you how I
am dealing with it personally. Whenever I feel fearful or anxious about
the future, I remind myself of four things:

    1. I am not facing the future alone. As we approach
      the millennial rollover, there is much that we don’t know about the
      future. We still don’t know whether or not Y2K will be a “speed bump” or
      a “train wreck.” But, as a Christian, the one thing I know for absolute
      certain is the fact that “God is with us” (Isaiah 8:10) and that “He
      will never leave us nor forsake us” (Hebrews 13:5). I may not know what
      the future holds, but I know who holds the future.

    2. Not all fear is bad. Fear can be a God-given, built-in
      mechanism for insuring that we get out of harm’s way. The kind of fear
      that motivates a person to take action — locking the doors at night,
      looking both ways before crossing traffic, or fleeing from a would-be
      attacker — is healthy. Conversely, any emotion that leads to denial,
      feelings of helplessness, or procrastination is not productive.

    3. Taking action dissipates fear. The Apostle Paul says that
      “God has not given us a spirit of fear” (2 Timothy 1:7). In the Greek,
      the word used for “fear” means timidity. The opposite of this is
      boldness. The timid person is the one who is afraid to act. Caught
      “between and betwixt,” he hesitates, unable to take action. In any
      crisis — a war, a natural disaster, an economic downturn, or any other
      calamity — it is these people who suffer the most. Those who act, on
      the other hand, are the ones who remain calm, rising above their
      circumstances, and getting safely from one side of the crisis to the
      other. To put it another way, preparation is the antidote to panic.

    4. You can only do so much. To quote A.L. Williams, “when all
      you can do is all you can do then all you can do is enough.” When the
      disciples were faced with feeding a multitude of 5,000 hungry people,
      they initially dismissed the task as impossible. But Jesus didn’t let
      them off the hook. He asked them to take inventory of their resources,
      and they found that they only had five loaves of bread and two fish –
      hardly enough to meet the needs of the assembled crowd. But Jesus took
      the disciples’ meager resources, blessed them, and gave them back to
      distribute to the people. Amazingly, they all ate and were filled. There
      were even twelve baskets left over (see Luke 9:12-17)! The message for
      us in regard to Y2K is obvious: If we will take whatever resources we
      have, whether small or great, and offer them up to the Lord, asking for
      his blessing, we will discover that we have more than enough to meet our
      needs. I think God often puts us — as he did the disciples — in a
      position where we are unable to meet all of our own needs, so that we
      may learn to trust in him.

I don’t know where you are in your spiritual journey, but if you
don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, let me encourage
you to start there. He is the one who is able to calm the waters and
bring you safely through the storm. He’s done it for countless others,
and He can do it for you.

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