I had meant for this post to continue studying and pondering love -- deepening love and living it more -- and that I hope is still coming. But I'm catching in the air a certain sense of fear from the people I talk to and/or read. There is fear for our country's future, fear of a hostile nation's latest threats, fear of deficits, fear of unemployment, fear of debt, fear of global warming or fear of rampant dishonesty depending on the point of view, fear of losing control, fear that nobody we trust is in control, fear that nobody at all is in control. I am not here to tell anyone that bad is good. I am not going to say "don't be concerned." In fact, I think the time for concern and action is well past, and we should be doing more, not less, especially on the issue of reducing debt. But in the face of a climate of fear, I wanted to take this one post to focus on the stability -- the steadfastness -- of God's purpose and God's message.
God will not be moved. His plans will not be shaken. I make no comment on my own plans, or your plans, or anyone else's plans. Every day you and I pray, "Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Focus on one particular part of that for just a moment: earth and heaven interact at times. And on some few occasions in human history, a messenger has come to earth, so that we can have a message on earth from heaven. And that message often begins like this: Fear not. Whenever an angel appears in the Bible, most often his first words are "Fear not." Over and over, "Fear not." Whatever they say next, they typically begin there, "Fear not." Is it because seeing a supernatural being is so frightening that they begin by saying "Fear not"? Maybe. But maybe it's because we are so often afraid. Maybe it's because that's the main message God wants to send us in this world: Fear not. Trust him.
Maybe when we pray, "Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven," maybe we are joining ourselves with them to be God's messengers on earth. And maybe our first message to others is, "Fear not." The next crisis that crashes down -- and don't they always? every age has its crisis -- let's be the ones standing there with peace on our hearts proclaiming God's peace. And whatever we say next, we start there: "Don't be afraid." When times are darkest and we can take someone by the hand and say, "Don't be scared" -- that is when someone may actually ask us the reason for the hope we have within us. And isn't that what we pray for a chance to proclaim?