Beyond the fear

By Jessica Brodie

You know how sometimes a common theme seems to be everywhere in your life? That happens to me on a lot of occasions, and I’ve come to believe that’s God sending me a message. I’ve read some good books lately, notably “Boundaries,” by Henry Cloud and John Townsend; “Man’s Search for Meaning,” by Viktor E. Frankl; and the latest from our Advocate Press, “Preaching in the Midst Of,” by the Rev. Amiri Hooker. They are vastly different books, but each left me marveling about the immense power of fear in our lives.

Fear can create hate and division and cause racism to fester like a septic wound. Fear can make people say “yes” to everyone and everything in their world until that “yes” leaves them exhausted, worn down and empty. Fear can cause us to give up on life, on people, on the beautiful tomorrow promised to us by God.

Fear, as the popular Christian song by Zach Williams puts it, truly is a liar.

I’ve been shocked lately analyzing how many things fear has prompted me to do—or not do—in my life.

But faith, now… that’s an entirely different animal. Faith calls us to love beyond fear, to slam the door in fear’s face, to take chances and stand up knowing the God of the entire universe is by our side and nothing can stop our God.

The pandemic left so many of us in an almost-paralyzed state of fear for more than a year. Now, as vaccinations increase and COVID-19 numbers fall, many are poking a toe into the world again for the first time. That’s a good thing! But we don’t only fear COVID. Take a look at this month’s paper (or the daily news) and a hundred what-if questions could freeze a person: What if we don’t raise that money? What if that new group does form? What if this person does that, or that person does this?

It’s OK to have questions, and it’s good to shine light into their roots. But remember: Fear only has power when we let it.

I leave you with these Scriptures:

  • “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4 NIV).
  • “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” 2 (Timothy 1:7 NIV).
  • “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” (1 John 4:18 NIV).

God bless you, friends!

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