The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, my enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell. Though an army may encamp against me, my heart will not fear; though war may rise against me, in this I will be confident. (Psalm 27:1-3)
Contrary to popular Christian folklore, (and I hate to disappoint anyone), the Bible does not state “fear not” 365 times. However, Jesus did state very clearly in Matthew 10:26-31, that we, His children, are not to fear; it wasn’t a suggestion. That, alone, should be enough of a confidence booster to convince us that the Father, who supremely manages to take care of every aspect of the universe without a hitch, (unbelievers would argue that it isn’t a utopia, but they don’t know the rest of the story), knows the number of hairs on each of our heads, and can tell you when a sparrow falls to the ground can surely, surely take notice of my problem(s).
Whom, indeed, shall I fear??
ISIS? A political party? Iran? Thieves and murderers? People who may hurt my feelings? People who are just too different from me? Yet, we are a fearful people, we Americans…we believers. Every day I meet professing Christians who tell me why they have ‘reasons’ to fear, as though their situations are special or unique. Every day I wonder, ‘Why don’t we believe you, in your character, in your name, Lord? Why is fear the first place we so often run?’ How can fear feel safer than the arms of our Father? And while, as a former chaplain and someone with training in counseling, I have some ideas concerning the psychological answers, the truer answers may be even deeper…soul deep, spirit deep.
Yesterday I was whining about what is physically going on with me during cancer treatment. Today the doctor told me that it is going to get worse in the next two-three weeks, (thank you very much). The Lord is my light and my salvation. He is my Light in the darkness, whether that darkness is physical, emotional, spiritual or mental. Do I need to fear? No, because He is also my peace. I wish I lived it out daily; I don’t, but He helps me up when I fall down.
There are, and will be seasons when the wicked will come against us, but eventually the enemies and foes will stumble and fall…and we will stand stronger because the Lord is the strength of our lives. But even so, like Habakkuk, if He doesn’t answer my prayer in the way I would hope, yet I will praise Him (Hab. 3:17-18).
There was a season in my life when it felt like an army was encamped against Gary and me, a war in the spirit realm where all hell broke loose against our family. I’d like to say my heart was singing constant praise to God, but I’d be lying; I grew weary. However, I did not fear. Why? Because I, like the Psalmist, get it right every now and then…I was confident in this: the Lord is my Light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?