When Ken Nichols introduces you to his fascinating trip of understanding, he begins with something every Californian understands–an earthquake. From this universally recognized source of fear wherein the earth itself seems to be attacking us, Nichols moves quickly into the body of his work. He gives us a virtual “shopping list” of fears and “phobias” suffered, I’m sure, by people we see every day. Not at all surprising when you ponder the fact that over twenty four million Americans suffer from feelings of fear intense enough to interfere with their daily lives.
Throughout, Nichols, Vice President of Student Development at Christian Heritage College in El Cajon, California, and Pastor of Family Ministries at Shadow Mountain Community Church brings a unique application and understanding of Scripture into play. Each chapter contains scripturally related personal evaluations which guide the reader to a better understanding of his or her position as it may be related to a specific fear or phobia.
The reader is led by a gentle but firm hand to a place where his or her personal knowledge of or relationship with a given fear may reside. I was particularly impressed with the “Prayerful Meditations” at the end of each chapter. In each instance it appeared to me that, depending on the subject of the chapter, that the meditations dealt specifically with the fears detailed.
And yet, while dealing with an extraordinarily serious subject, Nichols manages to bring humor to the reader as he points to the fact that a good laugh is at times a helpful balm to many–if not most–of lifes problems–including fear.
Overall, I found “Harnessing the Incredible Power of Fear” to be a more than worthwhile read. Its straightforward approach to everyday and more complex forms of fear was illuminating. But the premise that fear (or the harnessing thereof) can be a source of self empowerment is, perhaps, the most intriguing part of the work to me.
And as Nichols takes his reader through a series of chapters named and containing names such as “What is Fear? Friend or Foe?”; “Fear and cancer”; Faith that Preserves”; and “Develop Perfect Love”; he leads you inexorably to the conclusion that conquering fear (as developing a relationship with God) is achievable. And, at the very end of the book, he tells a dramatic and true story that illustrates his point magnificently.
While I’m not going to spoil it by telling you the story here, I will tell you that there is most certainly something to learn in this book. While everyone has been affected in one way or another by fear, those who are crippled by it, need not only our understanding but our prayers. And prayer, it turns out is something that Nichols espouses throughout the book as something that not only can, but will help in almost any situation.
This book, my friends, is one definitely worth reading–maybe more than once.