Saturday, May 12, 2012

Fear Not

(Editor's note:  Originally published in 2009)

“So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:26-30 (NIV)

y maternal grandmother, Hattie Eddy, used to say, “They can kill ya, but they can’t eat ya.” Now, a statement such as this conjured up somewhat disturbing images in my young and impressionable mind, even though it was said with a twinkle in her eye and was intended to calm me over some turmoil in my life. It was Grandma’s way of saying, “Don’t be troubled over what the world dishes out. It can’t hurt you.” Looking back, I can now see that the world made her life miserable at times. She raised nine children during the Depression, had lost a daughter in a drowning accident and a few in childbirth, and the lack of money brought burdens she couldn’t control. Yet, she never failed to have a smile on her face, a laugh in her eyes, and a warm embrace for her beloved family. The world may have attempted to “kill” her, but she knew that it couldn’t consume her heart and soul that God had lovingly prepared for the life she endured.

We’ve all been afraid at one time or another. The world charges in and exerts its influence, causing our hearts to falter in our attempts to bear what it brings. If we allow it to overcome us, we panic and become desperate, often conforming to its demands just to make life easier. Our fears prevent us from taking that step of faith, from giving the Gospel to the lost, and putting aside our own comforts to help those less fortunate. All too often, we forget the words that Jesus told His disciples in preparation for what would come. We fail to remember how precious and dear we are to Him, how much more valued we are, and of our “worth” in His sight.

It is hard to imagine that we do have “worth”. In our fallen and sinful state, our disobedience and rejection of Jesus, it still amazes me that God would find any value in us. However, I am reminded by Charles H. Spurgeon that God loves us simply because He loves us. There is no other explanation. God is love: infinite, immutable, faithful, merciful, and unconditional. His reasons are solely His own and I dare not question His motive. Rather, I grab hold of it and cling to it as if He were my very lifeline, keeping me from drowning in a sea of sin and damnation. I embrace the knowledge that He loves me and is making me into what He would have me be out of a love purer than my imagination can summon forth; a love that whispers to me in the darkness and tells me not to fear, “For I will never leave you nor forsake you.” I will never fully understand His love for me until I stand before Him face-to-face and am completely enveloped in it for all eternity.

So, let the world bring what it may. Let it charge in, baring its teeth in an attempt to consume me. Let fear that rides in on the tides of life be washed back to the sea from whence it came. I will faithfully stand on the promise Jesus made to His disciples, and the one my Grandma gave me. The world may kill the body, but will never have the soul. It belongs to Him, and only Him and no other may have it.

“So do not fear, for I am with you;

Do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10

Copyright 2006 Karen L. Brahs

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