“Do not be afraid, It is I”

April 16, 2007 at 2:03 pm Leave a comment

Henri Nouwen writes: We are fearful people.  It often seems that fear has invaded every part of our being to such a degree that we no longer know what a life without fear would feel like.  There always seems to be something to fear. Nouwen goes on to list the variety of things we fear and notes how most of us are making many, if not most, of our decisions from fear. (Lifesigns: Image Books-1986)

Even though we may be followers of Jesus we are often sucked into and overwhelmed by the fearful questions that are all around us.  Before we know it we feel anxious, nervous, overwhelmed by questions of how will we survive, how our children are going to make it in a world intent on destroying itself, how will our retirement go, how will we face death and on and on the fearful questions come.

What I find so ironic in my own life, is how easy it is for me to let fear questions guide my life, knowing full well that most of the things I fear never actually happen.  I guess some of that flows from the knowledge I have, that bad things do happen and so if they can happen I begin to assume they will. 

So in our realism we tend to reject words about peace, love, forgiveness, reconciliation, and new life as wonderful, but hardly helpful in ridding us of the nagging fear we feel.  Almost as soon as we begin to have feelings of wholeness and happiness, the good life, we call it, deep in the recesses of our minds comes the thought that it can’t last, won’t last and we are back, lost in fear.

As I write this I am sitting in the home of dear friends who are forced to face the greatest fear of a parent’s life-the loss of a child.  Linda and I know how hard it is to make this journey and how a loss like this causes every parent who knows the situation to be drawn into a deep chasm of fear that comes in words like this “if it can happen to them, it can happen to me” and so we begin to think about the unthinkable and our hearts are filled with fear.

Is it possible in the midst of this fear-provoking world to live in the house of love and listen there to the questions raised by the Lord of love?  Or are we so accustomed to living with fear that we have become deaf to the Voice that says lovingly to us: do not be afraid.  That reassuring Voice, which repeats it over and over again: “Do not be afraid, have no fear” is the voice we need to hear.

Nouwen continues: Why is there no reason to fear any longer? Jesus himself answers this question succinctly when he approaches his frightened disciples walking on the lake: “It is I.”

I know, neither intellectually nor experientially, any other antidote for the ravages of fear, but confidence in these words of the Savior.  Please say them to each other, believe them for each other and trust them together that they are true.  The Family needs us to believe together that “perfect love” does indeed, “cast out all fear.”  You never know when you will need the confidence and faith of others to speak these words of Jesus to you- “Do not be afraid, it is I.”

As you pray for the McComb family, pray that they would know with certainty that the horrid fear they feel will be calmed by those wonderful words.

Kaylee and Wyatt Wagner (Bill and Leslee’s oldest) just walked in the door.  Their friends came together to help Rand get their move completed to Phoenix, allowing Kaylee and Wyatt to fly from the LA area home.  Now that the whole family is together a decision will be made on a memorial service for Willie.  Check back here tomorrow for word.

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Entry filed under: Christianity, Culture, Faith, Friendship, Jesus.

Willie McComb Memorial Service for Willie McComb

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