Devo180

Voiding Fear (Feb. 12, 2013)

…Opening To…

Anger…fear…aggression. The dark side of the Force are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will… (Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back)

…Listening In…

When the wind had driven them out for about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the water. He was approaching the boat and they were afraid. He said to them, “I Am. Don’t be afraid.” (John 6:19-20; context)

…Filling Up…

The opposite of trust is not distrust. It is fear. Fear is the mind-killer, says the book Dune. Fear leads to the dark side, says Yoda. And in the Gospel according to John, there’s a wonderful little story about fear.

After the feeding of the 5000, the disciples leave Jesus on the mountain, apparently expecting him to catch a cab to Capernaum, for they take the boat and begin rowing across the sea. A storm blows up and the waves rise. Then the disciples see Jesus walking towards them on the water, and they are terrified. (This is the Greek word from which we get the word “phobia”). The story is unclear whether they are afraid of the storm or afraid of seeing Jesus unsupported by any sort of watercraft. Either way, they are afraid.

And Jesus says to them: “I am” and then “do not be afraid.”

Remember, this “I am” is the most fundamental affirmation of being. (We’ve talked about this before.) It is a complete thought in itself, though we usually expect a word to fill in the blank space after “am.” More often than not, Jesus’ “I am” statements are followed by such a word, but some are not. The ones that are not, such as this, do not leave room for me to fill in the blank. Indeed, they remove my need to fill in blanks.

Here’s how I see it: I can say I am…afraid. But as Jesus walks on the water toward his disciples he says, “I am.” That’s it. His “I am” leaves no room for an extraneous word at the end of the phrase, no room for afraid. Simply because Jesus is, my fear finds no purchase, no handhold. He takes my afraid and expunges it. I am free of fear because Jesus has taken my fear into his identity and voided it.

When inevitably I am afraid (of _____________ ) I can close my eyes, bow my head, breathe deeply, and know that Jesus is.

…Praying For…

Dear God, you provide meaning to the concept of trust. Help me put my trust in you so that fear cannot make me crumble. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, thankful that you have faith in me, because your faith in me enables me to have faith in you.

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