Last week, Wendy's dad noticed an especially large dog outside his Tennessee home. When his wife looked out the window, they realized it wasn't a dog--it was a bear. Wendy's parents live inside a city of about 60,000 people. There aren't supposed to be bears there. Animal Control assured them it was being tracked and would be returned to the mountains. So much for the bear.
The next day, Wendy's mom saw the neighbors outside and went to the rescue. She informed them of the bear story and proceeded to bang two pots together to keep the bear at bay. Anyone who has seen the Discovery Channel knows that was a good plan, but there probably wasn't a bear within miles by that point. There's a lesson in here.
Many of us live in fear of bears we have never seen. We convince ourselves that they're real and then when trouble comes, no matter how small, we panic because we have already taught ourselves that it must be a bear. Jack Groppel calls these "boars in the woods" and says they derail us from our mission (Jack doesn't know about the bear, but he actually tests this on people using a fake boar).
If you ever see a bear out your window, then grab some pots and make some noise. But most of us have never seen a bear anywhere near our windows. As believers, we don't have to be derailed by fear of things that aren't there. Quit being afraid of them. Do not conform any longer to the [fears] of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is.