Tim Clinton, Ed.D.
Ever get a word straight from the horses mouth? A horse survives on three basics… water… food… and a finely tuned fear response. However, the fear factor could be disastrous on a trail ride. Say a snake suddenly appears right in the middle of the trail. A thousand pounds of crazy horse instinctively wants to ignite. Expert trainers teach trail horses to “startle in place”. Ears forward… nostrils flared… eyes wide open… every muscle tensed. But for an instant the horse reacts to fear by standing still. That gives the rider enough time to cue the horse as to exactly what course to take. The rider, not the horse is in control. Fear is a natural instinct. Reacting correctly in the midst of fear, takes discipline and training.
Has something suddenly appeared in your life that has produced intense fear? Do you feel like you don’t know what to do – or where to turn? Do you just want to run away?
Jesus’ disciples once encountered this kind of paralyzing fear. He had just disclosed to them that He was going away. The One who had loved them and walked with them for three years was leaving them behind. Sensing their panic and despondency, Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you…Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27 ESV) Jesus knew fear was natural. He was simply forewarning them to “startle in place”. To be disciplined in their fear response. To allow Him to supply Peace… His Peace.
When the circumstances arise in your life will that will incite fear, respond… don’t react. “Startle in place”. Develop a healthy fear response that will allow you to follow His course. Trust in Him with all of your heart. Peace will come…
Tim Clinton, Ed.D., LPC, LMFT (The College of William and Mary) is President of the nearly 50,000-member American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), the largest and most diverse Christian counseling association in the world. He is Professor of Counseling and Pastoral Care, and Executive Director of the Center for Counseling and Family Studies at Liberty University. Licensed in Virginia as both a Professional Counselor and Marriage and Family Therapist, Tim now spends a majority of his time working with Christian leaders and professional athletes. He is recognized as a world leader in faith and mental health issues and has authored over 20 books including Breakthrough: When to Give In, When to Push Back. Most importantly, Tim has been married 36 years to his wife Julie and together they have two children, Megan, who is married to Ben Allison and is practicing medicine in dermatology, and Zach, who plays baseball at Liberty University. In his free time, you’ll find him outdoors or at a game with family and friends.