Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Did you ever notice how often Jesus said, "Fear not", or "Do not be afraid"?
Guess He knew the folks just might be prone to a little skittishness. I mean, for instance, what would you do out in the middle of a very angry body of water, in a storm, in the middle of night, exhausted from rowing - and along comes - well - someone? - or - something? And this someone or something actually appears to be walking on the angry water!
'Hey guys - it's Me - don't be afraid.'
I love that He knew that about the disciples. He knows that about us, too.
In my experience, He never wants us to fear - to be afraid. And yet there is so very much in life which can stir up fear.
In Luke 12, Jesus talks about not being afraid of those who can kill you and after doing so, that is it as to the damage which they can do to you. Then He says, 'If you must be afraid of someone, let Me tell you Who you can fear - God Almighty . Now He can do eternal harm' [this is how I hear His voice in these verses].
Here's where it gets down to His heart, for me. He points out some little birds - of no import, really - just little, common, birds. If one wanted to buy them, they would cost next to nothing. And yet, Jesus tells the folks that Father remembers each one of them.
'If Father remembers each small, insignificant, common bird of little value, how much more will He remember you? Don't be afraid. Let Me tell you how very aware Father is of you - He even knows how many hairs are on your head. Talk about insignificant! And yet He knows. He knows you - and remembers you. And it's not a remembering which should stir fear in you, but comfort and rejoicing and peace. Oh, don't be afraid - don't fear.'
To add to the folks' understanding of Father's heart, Jesus goes on to encourage them to not fret about their lives. He says don't worry about the basics of life - food, clothing - or even, how short you are. Lo and behold, He makes a second reference to birds - and a second assurance that they are worth much more to Father than are the ravens.
'Don't be a bundle of nerves over your life. Father knows what you truly need. He knows - and remembers - and cares.'
'Lift your eyes - look past your selves, your needs - and consider Father. I assure you, it brings great pleasure to Father's heart to provide what you need - it brings great pleasure to Father's heart to give you - not only food and clothing - but His kingdom. Do not fear - you are worth a kingdom to Father. He loves you - fear not little flock.'