The question keeps coming back to me.
Why was Adam afraid?
I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid… – Genesis 3:10 ESV
What was it about his nakedness that caused him fear? Granted, I can’t think of anything more horrifying than suddenly realizing you were standing in the middle of a garden without a stitch on. Yet, in this case, it had to be more.
Then, I read about Cain.
from your face I will be hidden…and whoever finds me will kill me… – Genesis 4:14 ESV
When Cain realized that part of his punishment was being banned from God’s presence, he feared for his very life.
There it was – this link between fear and separation from God. Perhaps, that is what Adam saw coming as he hid in the bushes from God. Did he fear a break in the perfect fellowship he had previously had with Him?
There is no security apart from His presence. Fear will pounce anytime we separate ourselves from God. We can not have the protection of God without the presence of God and, somewhere deep inside, even Adam knew that was a dangerous situation.
Several generations later, Jacob is told to take his family to Egypt. Knowing that Jacob may feel some anxiety, God instantly reassures him.
Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt…I myself will go down with you… – Genesis 46:3-4 ESV
There it was again – that link between the presence or absence of fear and the presence or absence of God. God’s presence is the antidote to fear. His perfect love casts out fear. I’m realizing that, when I begin to feel fear and anxiety creep in, it is because I have begun to hide from His presence.
Like Adam, I know that I have disobeyed and I hide. I become afraid because, like Cain, I know that a life without the presence of God is a dangerous thing indeed. So, when fear begins to rise I remind myself that, like Jacob, I am promised God’s continual presence.