“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”

2 Timothy 1:7

We romped and stomped with no fear.

Danger lurks on a farm, but my cousin and I ignored it when we were young. We played often in my grandfather’s barns. Barns where he kept farm implements, crops, and tools. Barns where snakes, rats and wasps hid. We threw clods of dirt at wasp nests and watched as the angry insects swirled about seeking their enemy.

We mulled around in the hog pens that surrounded my grandparents’ old farmhouse, making spears from chinaberry trees and hurling them at the hogs. If not spears, we picked up large dirt clods and heaved them. Any of these hogs could have mauled us with little effort.

Occasionally, our grandfather — Pappy we called him — allowed us to drive his small red tractor across the fields that weren’t fenced. I sat on the wheel cover while my cousin drove. I could have easily fallen off and had one of the large tires crush me. Death surely would have waited.

And we loved guns and hunting. We spent long hours by ourselves in the woods that surrounded the fields. We could have accidentally shot ourselves or each other. My cousin and I enjoyed our escapades around the farm and never worried about danger. We were invincible teenagers.

Paul had no fear either, although he had reason to. Those who disagreed with his “salvation by faith alone” message hounded his steps. He was beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, jailed and bitten by a poisonous snake. Yet, he didn’t fear.

Fear is a natural reaction to dangerous situations. God created the fight or flight mechanism in us. He expects us to use our heads and avoid known dangerous situations and people. But some danger is imperceptible and unavoidable.

God doesn’t want us living in a permanent state of fear. If we do, we’ll never go anywhere, do anything, or take any risks. Our world is a scary place, especially since numerous terrorists now circulate about. The only way to avoid crowds is to stay at home.

Just as we trust God to keep our salvation secure, we must also believe He will keep us safe. Nothing enters our lives without first passing through His perfect or permissive will. Either way, He is in control. And He promises to bring good from it all, though the good may be further down the road — and often is.

God is sovereign. Trust your life into His hands so you can live without fear.

Martin Wiles lives in Greenwood and is the founder of Love Lines from God. He is a freelance editor, English teacher, minister and author who serves as managing editor for Christian Devotions and as a proof-editor for Courier Publishing. Wiles is the pastor of Buffalo Baptist Church in McCormick. He is the author of six books and has been published in numerous publications. His latest book, “A Whisper in the Woods: Quiet Escapades in a Busy World,” is available on Amazon.