The Promise (November 9, 2012)

…Opening To…

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer… I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me… Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain. (Frank Herbert, Dune)

…Listening In…

You didn’t receive a spirit of slavery to lead you back again into fear, but you received a Spirit that shows you are adopted as his children. With this Spirit, we cry, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15; context)

…Filling Up…

The more fear that we have, the more we deprive ourselves of fear’s antidote. That antidote is trust. When we were children, we faced our fears because we trusted our parents’ advice. We believed that they would not lead us astray, and they didn’t. The darkness did not frighten us to death. The monsters did not pounce.

So how come we have so much trouble trusting in God? How come fear tends to trump trust more often than not? I think the answer is this. Trust takes energy. While fear creeps along, keeping us from action, trust derives from the kind of sustained relationship, which establishes and nourishes faithfulness. God always keeps God’s promises. God is always trustworthy. The trouble is we have to trust that God is trustworthy. We have to practice the faith that God has given us in order to maintain our ability to trust in God.

And fear constantly diverts this ability. But when we practice trust, when we believe that God’s keeps God’s promises, we can face our fears, we can keep at bay the gnawing dread of deprivation. Our grown-up fears may be concrete and relentless. But I am convinced that they are no match for the power of trusting in God.

Over this weekend, I invite you to take some time to be silent and to turn your thoughts inward. What do you fear? What kind of deprivation is at the root of that fear? And how will practicing trusting God help you face that fear? In your reflection, remember this good news. When Jesus says, “Don’t be afraid,” he is not just giving a command. He is giving a promise that when we face our fears, we will not be alone. When we face our fears, they will pass through us, and when they are gone, only God, holding us in the palm of God’s hand, will remain.

…Praying For…

Dear God, the only reason I know there is something called “trust” is because you are trustworthy. Help me to practice trusting you so that I can ward off fear. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you God, ready to face my fears with the knowledge that you are with me.

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