What Can Grasshoppers and Mustard Seeds Teach Us About Fear?

by Todd Shupe

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV

Fear is our natural response to physical or emotional danger.  Fear can be healthy to help us avoid dangerous situations.  We often fear situations that are not as serious as we perceive, which can trigger an extreme, and often unnecessary, fight-flight-or-freeze response. As a result, we may find ourselves avoiding challenges that could benefit them in the long run or hanging back during social interactions for no good reason.

When I think about the root cause of so many mistakes and spiritual pitfalls in my life, the source seems to be fear. Fear will cause us to buckle and settle for less than God’s best. It’ll cause us to disobey after diluting our trust in Him, and even when do stay strong, it’ll rob us of our peace and joy.  The enemy wants to keep us fearful and not faithful.

Numbers 13 tells us that twelve spies went into the Promised Land to scout it out before the Hebrew nation was to enter and claim what God promised them.  Joshua and Caleb came back ready to invade. The other 10 spies were terrified of the so called “giants” in the land.  They later confessed, “We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them (Numbers 13:33).”  

Why did the “giants” view the ten spies as little “grasshoppers”? Because the spies viewed themselves as little “grasshoppers.”  Instead of trusting God, believing His promise, and moving out with courage, fear paralyzed them.  If we see ourselves as grasshoppers, we will always see giants and deny ourselves the blessings that God has placed before us.

The cure for fear is faith.  Matthew 17 teaches about a man that brought his sick son to Jesus to heal.  The man stated that he had previously brought his son to the disciples, but they could not heal him.  Jesus rebuked the demon, and the boy was immediately healed.  The disciples asked Jesus why they could not drive the demon out.  “He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you (Matthew 17:20-21).

The faith of a mustard seed is enough for us to move mountains and certainly to conquer any real or imaginary giant.  Faith and confidence are important in our spiritual and secular life.    If a potential customer or client senses that you possess a “grasshopper mentality” they will pick up on it. “For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he” Proverbs 23:7.  Think of yourself as a child of God, and He loves you more than words can describe. 

Prayer:  Dear God:  Please help us to strengthen our faith in you.  We rebuke fear from the enemy in your name.  Be with us, lead us, and guide us.  Amen.

About the Author:  

Todd Shupe is the President of DrToddShupe.com and is a well recognized expert on wood-based housing and building materials, wood decay and degradation, and wood science. Shupe worked as a professor and lab director at LSU for over 20 years. He is active in several ministries including his Christian blog ToddShupe.com. Todd is the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men, and Board Member for Gulf South Men and a Team Leader for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church.