Do Fear Not
By Kerri Lynn Jerema

Ecclesiastes, written by notorious King Solomon while he may have been experiencing somewhat of a mid-life crisis, has long been touted a depressing book that one might do best to avoid reading. Recently, I’ve been wondering if Solomon’s aim, far from dragging us into a pit of despair, was to illustrate how our lives are necessarily lived out in tension. While we “toil”, as Solomon put it, we are tasked with enjoying our toil; while we work to improve ourselves and our situations, we are bid to be content with our lot in life (Ecclesiastes 5:19).

I believe this same tension can be applied to the existence of fear in our life. Although the bible instructs us on numerous occasions not to fear, it cannot do so without legitimizing fear as a natural human response to a perceived threat. Moses feared his God-given task, Mary feared the presence of the angel Gabrielle, and with the pandemic raging and ravaging our lives, we all have our own personal moments of fear too. Fear can easily become wielded into a negative emotion that should be eradicated from our lives, rather than embraced as a valuable tool that can attune us to our passions and propel us towards placing our trust in Someone with greater perspective.

Examining different biblical accounts of fear, I am encouraged by how fear is often explicitly identified and named at the precipice of bravery or renewed hope. The very acknowledgement of one’s perceived emotional state seems to be what allows them to continue—albeit afraid. Flickers of fear may arise within us due to our own perseveration, or it may flare up spontaneously, however, we would be wise to heed Solomon’s advice to live within the tension. In this light, we can be free to fear while sustaining faith.


Do Fear Not

seeps in
like the brazen cold
this winter’s day
finding every
crack and crevice
through which
to infiltrate despair.

Every year
she comes,
but still, we wince
instead of welcome
her by name.

“This is cold
she has arrived
and she necessitates
some action.”

Layer on some clothes,
wrap ‘round
an insulating blanket,
ignite a flaming fire,
to ward off her

Then though she blows
her gusty gales,
if we can bravely bear it
she will, like tide,

The tempest
has not power
to prevail.

Her power lay
in lies—
that what befalls
blows out our hope,
rather than blow in
the necessary oxygen
enabling it
to burn.

About this Contributor:

Kerri Lynn Jerema

Kerri Lynn Jerema is a disciple of Christ, adoring wife, and fun-loving mother to her two animated children. She is also the author of Closed Wounds, Open Hands. After teaching Grade 4 for several years, she became a full-time mother before being diagnosed with cervical dystonia, a neurological disorder, in 2018. Kerri and her family reside on a quiet street, just a stone’s throw from an adventurous creek, in rural Manitoba, where they love to explore, inspire, and create. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Theology through Canadian Mennonite University.

Find and follow Kerri on Instagram: @kerrilynnjerema

1 comment

  • My sister Lynne gave me your book & it sits on my writing table beside my own book of poetry. You’ve inspired me! Your poetry speaks also to my heart. A minister of the Word once said “Let your unique voice be heard.” So shall we speak & write, trusting the Lord to dispense it to those waiting to heal.


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