I was glancing at a daily email column that I subscribe to and found the word of the day very interesting. In fact, it was a word that I have never heard of – and it is the title of tonight’s post – arachibutyrophobia! My spell check thinks I am spelling it wrong but the auto-correct program doesn’t have any alternative suggestions for me. It isn’t often that I get that notice from my computer.
So, what exactly is this the meaning of this word? Well, it’s quite obscure. And if I gave you ten guesses, I still don’t know that you could come up with anything close to the right answer…. It is the fear of having peanut butter stick to the roof of your mouth. That’s right – it’s very specific. By the way, this isn’t the fear of peanut butter in general – apparently, that must be called something else. But arachibutyrophobia is the specific fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth.
Some people have this fear as a result of having choked on a peanut butter sandwich as a child, or some other trauma, and others can still tolerate peanut butter in small quantities – such as on celery or a cracker. All in all, it has to do with textures and how some folks are susceptible to sticky substances, such as gummy bears or other things they ingest. In fact, this particular fear is a sub-category of pseudodysphagia, the general fear of choking and it’s not unusual to have several phobias that are related, but by no means is this always the case.
The article I was reading started me down the road of thinking about all the fears that we are plagued with today. The coronavirus concerns are undoubtedly some of the most severe things most of us have ever worried about. For some of us, there is a fear of getting sick and/or dying, for others there is the fear of financial ruin through job loss, the reversals in the stock market or our inability to keep our homes. Already we know that most people will have to work several additional years in their careers to make up for the times that they were out of work during their prime earning years.
In any event, fear is running rampant. And when fear takes over, no matter how obscure, we tend to forget about God. But now is a good time to focus on God and turn our fears over to Him. This takes a supreme amount of trust, especially when we are so vulnerable as a nation and a world. Perhaps, this pandemic that we are currently facing will drive us back to God and our nation will return to its more devout roots after all this is over. At least we can hope that will be the case.
Our verse for tonight is a simple, powerful verse from the Psalms. We are told, in Psalm 56:3-4, “When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?” My encouragement tonight is that God wants us to trust Him with our fears – no matter how unusual they may be… and almost all of us are afraid of something! My prayer is that we will all be vulnerable enough to trust God and seek His help in overcoming whatever obstacles are keeping us from enjoying the deepest relationship with Him that we can possibly have. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…