What Fear Can Learn from Liam Neeson

Can we all just agree?  Liam Neeson’s got serious game.  He’s not afraid of anyone as long as he’s got a cell phone.

In the absence of similar skills, approximately 47 million parents of high school and college students have made their kids watch at least the first half hour of the movie, Taken, in which “Liam’s” teenage daughter is snatched by bad guys who have (really) bad plans for her.  For the past few years parents have been sending daughters out into a dangerous world with the battle cry, “Remember TAKENNNNN!!”

And now, with a Part Two coming out, this was a tweet I read the other day.

All this Liam Neeson tough guy stuff has been on my mind because in almost every conversation I’ve had lately there has been an unwanted intruder.  His name is Fear, and he seems to be lurking, wanting to take me, my friends and family to places we don’t want to go.

For a few people it’s the fear of taking a stand or a new step that they believe is God-honoring but will be unpopular or risky.

With another there’s the fear of delving into the pain of a broken family system, unsure of the power of emotions there.

For others there’s the fear of not doing well on an upcoming test or a job performance review.  The fear of failure or not being “good enough”.

What is it for you?  What fear keeps you up at night or tiptoes up behind you with stealthy cunning when you don’t expect it?

Here’s what I know about Fear…

Fear distorts and fear isolates.

Fear says, “This is BIG.  Really BIG!  Too BIG for God or you or anyone (even Liam Neeson).”  And if X happens it really will be the end of the world and God will fall off his throne.

And Fear says, “You are all alone.  There’s no help. No one understands.  No one’s ever been where you’ve been.”

As I was thinking about these conversations, this Fear that is an enemy more crafty than any  bad guys Liam has faced, God brought to mind one of my favorite stories in 2nd Kings 6 (Full disclosure: I didn’t remember it was in 2nd Kings.  I had to use my concordance)

The Arameans are at war with Israel and it’s bad.  They are surrounded and people are afraid.  Elisha is “the man of God” and his servant is shaking in his boots.  Here’s what happens:

15 When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.

16 Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

17 And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

Here’s the reminder for me in this wonderful account…

Fear may try to distort and isolate, but God provides companions that help us right-size, giving us binoculars so that God is magnified and we see Fear through the big lens of His love and power.

Picture God surrounding your fear with His chariots and remember, in the end, love wins. (Jn. 6:33)

What are you afraid of and how does fear threaten to isolate you or distort your perspective?

2 thoughts on “What Fear Can Learn from Liam Neeson

  1. Be not afraid! Trying hard not to be afraid only seems to produce more of the stuff in me! These days I’ve been practicing courage . . . exercising the power to choose! Hanging out with people more courageous (with more practice) than I. I am growing in courage.

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    • Love the thought of “choosing courage”! I agree, there needs to be more than just the admonition to “be not afraid”! I need the pictures of Jesus calming the storm, facing adversaries with grace, the chariots around Elisha…to help me choose courage. And it’s still hard!

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