Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Be Not Afraid

I look around me lately and there is so much to fear. I look at the deficits our government runs up and at many of its policies and I'm afraid for my boys' future. I wonder what they will inherit from us in this place. I hear the fear-mongering about the markets and the banks even though I try not to watch TV. I read fear in a friend's email; he's in NYC and connected to the financial industry, and everything he knows seems to be falling apart.

I read that evangelical churches will be gone in 20 years. I watch an acquaintance lose her son. I see a family that I thought my church was helping to get back in their home instead stuck in FEMA trailers, desperate for help with medical bills. I learn that 3 miles from my house 25 babies a day are put to death in the state's largest abortion clinic. I hear friends at work tell of canceled vacations to Mexico - it's too unstable, "we're too afraid to bring the kids", they say.

Fear and worry have surrounded me. Tonight as I watched my work email, folded laundry, and cooked dinner (all simultaneously) I felt as if I'd never been a grown-up before now. Did I truly have any responsibilities before this weight settled itself on my shoulders? Is fear a load we carry as adults? Does it define adulthood for us, this worry, this unsettled feeling, as if nothing will ever be made right again?

Even though I wasn't thinking of losing my faith at that moment, I was doing exactly that. Not my faith in markets or governments or the U.S. of A., but my faith in my Creator. The only faith that matters. The only place from whence my security and peace and, indeed, my future, comes.

I listened to Jill Paquette sing "'tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, just to take Him at His word. Just to rest upon His promise...oh for grace, to trust Him more." and how I was looking at the world turned upside down. I read James 1 with the boys tonight, and heard:

"Don't run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure." - James 1:2-3 (The Voice translation)

I constantly forget the word of God and remember only the world. Fear and worry don't make me an adult; they make me a frightened child. Lord, help me to hear your word, remember it, and put it into practice in place of that fear. Amen.

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