Fear and worries: Fear of the unknown - 15 February 2022

By Charlea Sieberhagen-Grey

For many years, New Year’s Eve made me feel anxious, rather than excited about the new year that would be ushered in. Yes, there was a measure of excitement about the chance to begin anew and to turn the page, but to a large degree, I felt anxious about the unknown that lay ahead. For that reason, I was seldom in the mood for big parties to kick off the new year. I know, it sounds quite gloomy and joyless.

One of the wonderful things about New Year’s Eve and a new year that beckons is naturally the fact that you can reflect on the year that has gone by – then you may be happy that you are finally able to shake off the dust of the year or you can be grateful for a wonderful year that was and the grace that you had experienced. But as soon as you look ahead again, then the new year lies ahead of you like a blank piece of paper. And who knows what will be written in the new chapter.

The unknown remains one of the most frightening things that we are constantly confronted with.

Yes, the first month is done and dusted and here we are, already in the middle of February. Yet, a long year stretches ahead of us and we do not know what challenges await. As a self-confessed control freak, it remains a challenge year after year – the realisation that I cannot control everything that comes across my path. This simply scares me to death. This is why I constantly need to return to the Bible so that I am reminded that I do not need to be afraid. Especially not of the unknown.

It is reassuring to know that thousands of years ago, God promised his people that He would strengthen them and would help them, that He would uphold them with this powerful right hand. I believe that promise is also applicable to your life and mine. With 10 new months lying ahead, we can tackle each month as it comes and remember: God will strengthen us when new challenges come across our paths. He will help us!

Prayer: God, help me not to be afraid of the unknown this year. Help me to trust in you and to know that you are always there to help, also in the circumstances that are beyond my control. Amen