Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.
-Jesus in Matthew 14:27
When was the last time you were afraid? Do you believe that Christ walks with you in the darkest valleys?
There have been times I have let fear get the best of me. In high school, I could worry about some pretty mild things: Did I have enough friends? Could I run fast enough? Was I getting the best grades? These can be interesting questions, but some of these little things can consume us if we allow them to. If we aren’t careful some of these mild fears can destroy us. Rational fear is one thing. This kind of fear can push us into action. Irrational fear can leave us feeling sick, and it can pull us away from the people we need to move toward.
In the Bible, we are told over and over again not to be afraid. Jesus repeatedly warned his followers not to let fear rule their hearts, but over and over again the disciples succumbed to the powers of fear, anxiety, and desperation…
Over the last five years, my wife and I have noticed that it has become much easier to build friendships in our neighborhood. Now this is not because we are trying harder. In fact when we first arrived we would do everything we could to meet our neighbors, but everyone seemed so busy. In general, there seems to be a fear of people we don’t know. However, since we had our two kids, we’ve somehow managed to meet everyone. The kids love meeting other children and adults, and the neighbors seem to love meeting us – even as crazy as we are… As far as time goes, we have actually been much busier, but we have found more time for what really matters. It certainly doesn’t make sense to fear each other. I am so grateful for the other people in my neighborhood. I am thankful that my kids love getting to know the people around them.
Today I hope you can all think about the fear in your life. I hope you can take the time to understand your fear. Perhaps you need to use it rationally, but I hope you can also let go of the irrational and move forward into this beautiful world God has created!