A little fear, like the kind that keeps us from rushing into the street without checking for oncoming traffic is helpful. The kind that we see in movies where the terrified person plunges out of the alley only to be flattened by a truck would be the unhelpful kind.
The other very unhelpful kind is the fear of what might happen because of something bad that happened before. Someone who can't hold a job because a prior employer stole their paycheck, assaulted them and gave them horrible references when they sought safer employment. It is the kind of fear that happened in my extended family when someone took on the "I hate cops" mantel using the excuse of a grandfather had died in a bar brawl in 1906 New York when the police were trying to break up the fight. It was not his son who took this position, but a grandson looking for an excuse for behaving badly.
Sometimes we take a single incident and blow it up into a life-style of self-pity. Other times we embrace every offense, real or imagined, to reinforce the self-destructive habit of always expecting and dreading the worst. Maya Angelou is quoted: "Hope for the best, be prepared for the worse. Life is shocking, but you must never appear to be shocked. For no matter how bad it is it could be worse and no matter how good it is it could be better.”
That balance is much easier for me in the light of my faith because I believe God always looks out for my highest good, not by keeping all sorrow from me, but rather by assuring the facility to grow in understanding and strength and kindness. No matter how bad things are, I am assured that God will see me through and make it all count for something important, making it possible to survive some pretty grim things without loosing my balance permanently.
Almighty and All-powerful God, thank You for Your covenant promises to love me always, support my highest good at all times and be my Shield and Shelter, helping me find your Will in my life, that I might fulfill the purpose for which You created me, loving as Your Hands and Feet, growing closer to You all the way to Heaven. AMEN