9 I’ve commanded you to be brave and strong, haven’t I? Don’t be alarmed or terrified, because the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
I feel like we hear the message behind today’s text a lot, but it just isn’t totally realistic in real life – is it?
It’s like when you’re scared to, say, make a speech, and someone says, “don’t be scared.” Super helpful, all my problems are now fixed. Sometimes when I read things like today’s text, my mind sort of just writes it off as a nice sentiment then goes back to the panic. In thinking about our new sermon series on courage, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to be courageous isn’t actually to not be afraid. It’s no longer really courageous if we’re not scared. To be courageous means to do something even if it scares you. The fear, the alarm, the terror even shows us that we are doing something brave.
We’re all scared of something. Maybe you have a fear of spiders (Arachnophobia), or a fear of heights (acrophobia), or maybe even a fear of long words which was coined by someone who is just cruel as it is called: Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia.
Whatever your fear is, it can really make us disheartened if the message we hear is to not be afraid because then when we are scared, we get stuck in a trap of feeling as though our faith and trust in God isn’t good enough. That just isn’t the case, we’re human. So, what if we look at this text and other calls in scripture where we’re told to overcome fear and trust in God and think about it more like acknowledging that fear but trusting God enough to do the thing anyway.
By Rachel Callender
For Pondering & Prayer
Sometimes, we are in need of a visual reminder of God’s presence. Try writing down part of today’s text: “The Lord your God is with you wherever you go” on something on put it somewhere you will see it regularly. Tape it to your wall, hang it on your fridge, write it on your mirror.
Prayer: Dearest Lord, we give thanks that you are God and that you remain our strength. Amen.