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How to Overcome Fear


We own three minpins. They look like Doberman Pinchers but are much smaller. They are all less than twenty pounds. There’s Rocky and Adrian (as in, yo Adrian, I did it!) and Justy. These dogs are what you would call yappers. I don’t think that they realize how small they are because they are fearless. If a grizzly bear somehow wandered into the yard I’m sure they would be up for the fight.

One day my wife was walking the dogs in a secluded part of Tell City behind the floodwall. It was in the cool of autumn and altogether delightful. The blue sky was brushed with a smear of cirrus clouds and a steady north wind made her long dark hair dance about her shoulders. About half of the leaves were down and the nip in the air was refreshing after a brutal summer.

You never see anyone in this section of town and so it is perfect for walking three dogs who are wired way too tight. As the dogs were making merry all over the place Leonna was luxuriating in not having to work after a summer of too few days off. Suddenly, and to the surprise of all on the nature walk, a four-point buck appeared as if out of nowhere.

The dogs went haywire. They went from nosing in the bushes to full-scale attack in a salivating split-second. The frightened deer was in sheer terror. On his right was the floodwall, which was insurmountable, and on the left was the Ohio River. The deer was in such a panic that he didn’t realize that he could easily outrun these rodent size dogs if he just ran straight ahead.

In panic, the deer chose the river.

When I tell people that my miniscule dogs killed a full-grown buck deer they look at me funnily. Some twisted part of my psyche really enjoys those moments. I love to look people in the eye when they don’t quite believe me.

Splashing his full-grown two hundred pound bulk into the river the deer began to swim for his life; or so he thought. Our three dogs relished the moment as they egged each other on in a snarling frenzy. They went right into the river behind the terrorized buck.

Meanwhile, back on the sane side of town, Leonna watched as the three tiny black beings swam as hard as they could to catch the deer. I’ve often wondered; what does a dog plan to do with something so big if he does happen to catch it?

Leonna loves animals and she was not enjoying the moment at all. At about a hundred yards out, the deer’s antlers dipped below the surface a couple of times and then disappeared altogether. The dogs swam in a circle for a moment and then in a sudden epiphany realized that they were much farther from shore than the wanted to be. They swam back as fast as they had gone out. Reaching the shoreline in a heaving blur, it looked as if an electric shock was going through their tiny bodies as they dried off. They then resumed their walk as if nothing extraordinary had happened.

The deer never came up for air.

Our dogs did not kill that deer – fear did. He panicked and that proved to be his undoing. There is something in this story for us. Scripture admonishes us not to be fearful and the lesson that the poor animal provides is a valuable one. We must not be like the heathen and be pulled under by the current of alarm.

Psalm 27:1 says, The Lord is my light and my salvation-so why should I be afraid? The Lord protects me from danger-so why should I tremble? 2 Timothy 1: 7 says, For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

Remember these verses in times of peril. God will be with you. He promised!