By Lisa Huddleston
Are you kidding, God? Fear not? Have you watched the news lately? You’d have to be nuts to “fear not.” Babies are being shot in their schools. Nearly 1000 people have died on our roads here in Tennessee alone. Mayans say the world ends on the 21st (although I haven’t heard from any Mayans personally). The fiscal cliff is about to pull us all over the edge. And the depression monster is trying to push me under water again and I can barely breathe. Fear not? Really?
The only way I can think of to fear not is to escape. Now escape can take many forms. Some decide to conquer evil head on. They write bills banning whatever they can blame the evil on—guns, cell phones, drinking, and so on. (That’ll show ’em!) And those who are against those bans take equal vengeance on their fear of losing their freedom. Either way—fear wins.
Others escape by burying their tinsel covered heads into the holiday busyness. Retail therapy can be good for the soul! I can testify to its benefits. But the distraction is temporary and the new becomes old in a blink. Or parties! Too much punch will erase your fear but just until the buzz wears off. Or just solitary sipping—still temporary and much less socially acceptable.
Of course there are more permanent means of escape and sadly many do choose these routes during this season in particular. Yet permanent is a relative term. Eternity is a long time. Even longer than permanent. So even in escape “fear not” is a daunting command.
So here we are. Okay, here I am. Maybe you feel just fine. But I am stuck.
“Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord was born for you in the city of David” (Luke 2:10.)
But, God, I am afraid. I’m looking, but I’m still afraid. I know that I am part of “all the people” and that you were born for me in that little town of Bethlehem. I believe you, but I am afraid. Please, give me comfort. Make me fearless. Swaddle me in cloths of great joy that repel the fear and keep me safe. Swaddle my family and my friends. Swaddle the babies who sit in classrooms and those who lie too soon in manger-like coffins. Swaddle the parents who are alone. Swaddle the evil in our hearts and wrap our arms to our sides so that we cannot cause harm. Then maybe I will not fear.
Help thou my unbelief.
The beautiful piece attached to this article is called COMFORT, by Kim Thomas. Peace.