How much do you have? I am afraid sometimes when I have to do things in public. I lock the doors and leave all the outside lights on when my husband is gone overnight. I fear losing my kids or husband.
Some movies try to exploit our fears.
Some relationships survive because of the fear of being alone.
Fear of failure… thats a good one.
Fear of the future… I have that one, too.
There are two kinds of fear- fear of God and every other kind of fear.
I read Luke 8 in my devotions this week. Fear seems to be a theme of the second half of Luke 8. It’s a series of stories about Jesus’ interactions with people, and their response to him.
Jesus is asleep in a boat with his disciples, a storm comes, the disciples finally wake Jesus because the storm is so great and Jesus calms the storm. “In fear and amazement they asked one another, ‘Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.’” Luke 8:25
They arrive across the lake from Galilee and Jesus finds a man possessed by demons. He sends the demons into a herd of pigs, “Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear.” Luke 8:37
A woman who has been sick for twelve years with no answer from doctors touches the hem of Jesus robe and is healed. When Jesus won’t move without discovering who touched him, “the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet.” Luke 8:47
An important man came to Jesus, asking Jesus to heal his daughter. Messengers came as they were on their way telling them that the girl had died. “Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.” Luke 8:50 And she was. Not just healed, raised from the dead.
Four stories of miracles. Four stories of fear.
Fear of God draws Jesus closer. Fear alone sends Jesus away.
One of my daughters feels like she’s going to be a missionary. Probably in a galaxy far, far away. Sometimes I’m afraid. Afraid she will be in danger. Afraid I will barely see her. Afraid I won’t know my grandkids. And then I remember who Jesus is, “He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him” He can protect my daughter.
When I look deeply into my own failings and insecurities, I know that I am not good enough, smart enough, put together enough. And then I remember who Jesus is, I reach out for him, and knowing that I can not go unnoticed, I come trembling and fall at his feet.
I have asked God for a lot of things, some things he seems not to be acting on. And when I remember who Jesus is, I hear him saying “Don’t be afraid, just believe.”
What I don’t ever want to be is the one who sends Jesus away. The one who wants everything to stay the same. Yes, I know, his answers are hard. I have to go through storms to see them calmed. He does the unexpected, and the unexpected can be confusing, scary. But the unexpected with Jesus is so much better than staying the same.
Help me be one who chooses the unknown with Jesus over the known without him.