Do not Fear (29-07-20)
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)
I went out on my bike early on Sunday morning and, as I was cycling along the Mawsley Road, somewhere near Old Poor’s Gorse, a Muntjac deer appeared in the verge, running around beside me in a great panic; it clearly saw me as a threat and was desperately trying to get away from me and jump back into the woodland. The problem it had was that it as on the wrong side of the fence.
The reality was that I was no threat to the Muntjac at all, and was more concerned that, in its panic, it would run into my bike. On the other hand, running around in a panic on the wrong side of the fence did put the Muntjac in great danger from a passing car.
I wonder how much time we spend being afraid of something that is, in reality, not a threat at all, or anxious over something that will most likely never happen?
The list of phobias we might suffer from is endless, but they could include being afraid of other people’s opinions of us, or of people we’ve not met before, or of food we’ve not eaten before or of a venture we’ve not tried before.
Fears and phobias can be quite debilitating and can prevent us from doing or enjoying all the good things that God has for us. Against this God says to us, as he said to Joshua, ‘Do not be afraid, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go,’ and Jesus says to us ‘My peace I give you; do not be afraid’.
Boundaries and limits, though, are important. They are put there as much to protect as they are to prevent. The Muntjac would do well to stay on the right side of the fence and not get too inquisitive about what is on the other side. God has placed some boundaries for our lives to protect us from harm and to keep us safe.
What are the things that make you anxious or afraid? As you imagine the threat, can you also imagine Jesus into that situation? What would he say to you today?
Or are you anxious because there are places where you have strayed onto the wrong side of the fence? Forgiveness is the gate back into safety. It is open, will you go through it?
Lord Jesus, I know that you care for me and that I can cast all my anxieties onto you. I lay all my fears and failings at the foot of your cross. Help me to find the forgiveness and the freedom that only you can give.
You are my hiding place