Green Pastures, quiet waters
Green Pastures, Quiet Waters
In His Presence
What are you most afraid of? I confess, my human nature is prone to fear and worry. I am getting better at conquering those tendencies than I used to be, but sometimes the difficult circumstances of life rise against me and I find myself once again fumbling in fear and getting caught in that same worry web. And to be honest, the physical issues I have been dealing with also have worry and stress as part of the overall symptomology.
At such times I have thought, “I wish I had been alive when Jesus was on earth. If He would just be physically here with me now, I could reach out and touch Him – look into his eyes and hear His tender voice speak words of reassurance and comfort. Possibly He would remind me of His words written for us in Isaiah 41:10 : “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.” If He could just put his arm around me or hold my hand, I know all my fears would clear away like the morning mists in the heat of the noonday sun.
Then I am reminded that His best friends spent three years in his physical presence. As the writer of the book of First John said, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.” (I John 1:1) His disciples ate with Him, watched Him perform miracle after miracle, walked the dusty roads with Him and listened to His voice as He taught them. He was with them in the flesh, yet they feared.
Fear caused Peter to begin to sink when he tried to walk on water, even though Jesus was right there with him. Fear also caused Peter to deny knowing Jesus when Jesus had been arrested and he thought his own life was in peril. The book of Matthew tells us that when Jesus was arrested, all His disciples deserted Him in fear for their lives. Although they had spent much time in His physical presence, they were fearful.
The reactions that the disciples of Christ had to their fears reminds me that fear is a natural human response to frightening situations. The problem is not that I sometimes become afraid, but rather, how I deal with my fear. Do I run and hide, as did the disciples when Jesus was arrested or can I face the fear, name it, pray over it and keep moving ahead?
1Jo 4:18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. “His perfect love casts out fear”
Perhaps fear conquers when I do not totally grasp the incredible truth that indeed God IS with me – each step of each day. Have we not just finished celebrating Emmanuel – GOD WITH US? Faith demands that I believe without seeing with my eyes, without feeling with my hands or hearing His voice with my ears. His promise to never leave me is as true today as when it was written.
“ I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4