Have you ever noticed how often in scripture, God is telling someone not to be afraid? Sometimes, as with Jeremiah, He Himself speaks the words. At other times, He uses angels to offer reassurance and encouragement. These days, He uses people like Ken Rudolph.
As I sat listening to the excellent message on Sunday evening, I was enthralled once again with the image of David standing up to Goliath. He had behind him the experiences of victory over the lion and the bear. He had the memory of countless nights in the open, marveling in the vastness of the sky and the greatness of God. How good God is to give us this story and many others to show us that He is greater than all our fears.
Sometimes our fears seem legitimate. We face disease or debt. We have problems that we know are bigger than us, that we cannot solve on our own. Other fears are more nebulous--fear of failure or of loneliness, of saying too much or not enough, of having the wrong motives despite an earnest heart.
I remember sitting outside one of the mission houses in Togo several summers ago, wrapped in fear. Strangely, perhaps, I did not fear the possibility of malaria or dysentery, of green mambas or tarantulas. Those things were out of my control, I figured. The fears plaguing me that day were the nebulous type--the ones that creep out in the darkness and take away sleep, that pop up unexpectedly and get in the way of work, the ones we think we should be able to fix.
On this early morning, as I listened to the rising song of some unfamiliar bird and contemplated the tall gray trunks of African trees, God reminded me of a wonderful truth: II Timothy 1:7--"God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and of love and of a sound mind." I cannot tell you everything that verse meant to me that morning, but I have held onto it tenaciously, and I return to it today.
I cannot be everything I want to be. I will disappoint and I will fail. But God gives me power and love and a sound mind. Through Him, I can love others and do what must be done. There is no time for fear.