There has been a lot of talks lately, all revolving around one word – FEAR! It seems like we have become afraid of most everything we used to take for granted. When did this happen? It seems like we are focusing more on “IFS” then “FACTS”
Why have we become frightened people? If you’re disagreeing with me, consider the following:
We fear the political! This country gets absolutely polarized over elections and issues that we used to come together and solve when it became necessary.
We fear the police – especially if we don’t look like them. Again, it’s a “Us against them” mentality that paints every person with a badge as an enemy combatant.
We fear our food – so many food products are being recalled daily for salmonella and other contaminants.
We fear our weather – The local weather forecast turns every 1-inch snowfall into “SNOWMAGEDDON”
We fear our money – It doesn’t seem to go as far as it used to. We listen to Wall Street, financial planners, anyone that has an idea of how God’s gifts to us should be hoarded instead of sharing!
We fear others – Those who might look at the little we have and decide they need it more.
We fear ourselves – that we have finally given up and just stopped caaring!
I help out at a local food pantry every Saturday morning. One morning on my way to the pantry, I spotted a figure by the side of the road, sitting on a folding chair and slumped over as if trying to touch their toes. I passed, intent on getting to the pantry to get my day started.
Not really being awake yet, it took me a few moments to process what I had seen. My thoughts turned to guilt as I began to suspect that the person was homeless. Since I was heading to a pantry, shouldn’t I give them a lift in a warm car and offer a hot breakfast?
Then the fear side woke up. What if they were dangerous? What if it was a con to get people to stop? Now this entire conversation took place in less time than it took me to get to the next stop light. Before I knew it, I had made four rights and I was back to the person in the chair. I parked a couple of car lengths back and exited my vehicle, keeping it running, just in case.
I called out in my professional Teacher voice “Are You OK?”. I received no response, no indication that I was heard. I walked about three steps towards the chair when I heard “I think she’s dead!”
I admit that I jumped a little. I spun around toward the voice behind me and saw a woman poking her head out a screen door on the side of a house.
“She hasn’t moved since I found her an hour ago. I think she passed away during the night. I called 911, and they said they are on their way.”
Seeing as there was really nothing else to do, I got back in my car and headed toward the pantry.
But my mind began a new set of inquiries. I knew that her physical health was no longer a concern, but how about her spiritual? Did she believe in God, Father, Son & Spirit? Did she accept the free gift of eternal life? Was she with Jesus now?
That is my fear! On November 21st, 1994 I became a follower of Jesus Christ and locked in my eternity. My greatest FEAR right now is who is going to be there with me.
But when I fear, God has a simple answer – DO NOT FEAR! In fact, he repeats this message over 150 times throughout the Bible
And in the book of Isaiah (41:10) ESV, he tells us why
fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you,
I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
God has brought us this far! And he will complete his plan for your life, as we are reminded by the prophet Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord,
plans for welfare and not for evil,
to give you a future and a hope.
God never tells people “Ok this is as far as I go. The rest is up to you.” He has you from the moment he created you until the moment you return to him. So hang in there and stick to the plan. And if you don’t know the plan, I suggest you ask him!
Guard our days and nights against the things of this sinful world. Grant us peace in knowing that you are on your throne and you got this!
In Jesus name, Amen