Do you suffer from tridecaphobia?
That’s the irrational fear of the number 13. It doesn’t get much press, except on days like today: Friday the 13th. Motorcycle enthusiasts in southern Ontario love Friday the 13th, because it gives them an excuse for a road trip. (Many motorcycle enthusiasts meet on Friday the 13th in Port Dover, Ontario, for a rally.)
Some folks, though, get a bit tied up about the number 13, to the point that they won’t stay in a hotel room with that number, or buy a house with that number, or put a 13th floor in a building. It’s a bit of an odd phobia, if you ask me.
The word phobia just means ‘fear’. And in theological terms, ‘fear’ has two opposites: ‘faith’…and ‘love’. As Scripture says, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4.18, NIV).
Followers of Jesus have no reason to fear anything, but especially something like the number 13. So what makes us afraid of things?
We live in a sinful world, in which seeds of fear and doubt have been sown in abundance. Jesus came, and lived and died and rose again, because God loved the world just that much. His purpose was to redeem us from the sin to which we are enslaved, which includes our fears.
The antidote to fear is faith. Trust the Lord, and give him your fears…even your fears of Friday the 13th.