“Fear and trembling have beset me;
horror has overwhelmed me.” Psalm 55:5 NIV
Even if I were well enough, you could not get me to watch a horror movie. I hate the portrayal of violence and gore, and am hopelessly easy to frighten. But different things horrify different people. My husband can watch the scariest films and barely bat an eyelid, the same with my stepson. Zombies, vampires and axe-wielding maniacs are merely entertainment to them. As, for that matter, are axe-wielding zombie vampires. But if any spiders are in the house, it’s me who deals with them.
Phobias are horrible irrational fears that can turn our palms sweaty in an instant. I get like that if I see a photo of a great white shark. Okay, slightly more dangerous than a house spider, but the fear is still rather irrational if it is started by a photograph and if it makes me then check under the duvet for possible marine marauders before I will get into bed.
But the horror that is overwhelming David in this Psalm is the horror of betrayal. Someone close to him has turned and become “bloodthirsty and deceitful.” No wonder this has completely taken the wind out of David’s sails and left him cold and shaken. People who betray our trust and cause us harm are far more horrifying than anything that lives in the ocean or that has eight legs.
And David’s hope? What does he hold onto with those sweaty hands to get him through the panic and the tremors? Faith – which can also be weak and trembling, but nevertheless beats any horrors, real or imagined, as long as it remains our anchoring point in life. “But as for me,” says this frightened man of God, “I trust in you.”
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