“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Sav-ior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:8-12
Fear can paralyze us. I’m sure the shepherds were paralyzed with fear when the heavens opened and they heard and saw things unfamiliar and unbelievable.
This past summer I had the opportunity to spend time on the Colorado River on a guided trip for eleven glorious adventure filled days. There were nine guides and 20 “pilgrims”. I should have been afraid in the rapids. People occasionally die in them. Some of the waves were 10 to 12 feet high with a power to the current that defies description. But I never was afraid because the guides told us what to do if we fell out of the raft and they had years of experience on the river. I trusted them completely. How much better off I would be if I could trust God so completely.
We have the Bible to guide us and a church family to support us when the waters get rough. I can’t imagine life without a church family. They feel like the life vest I wore to keep me afloat. When something unfamiliar or beyond our scope of experience happens, our church family is there, encouraging us to pray, read the Bible, seek comfort through their own experiences and to fear not. For great joy comes after the rapids. The raw beauty of the stars and rocks, the companionship of other “pilgrims” and the knowledge that God loves ME, little as I am in this great universe, leaves me filled with awe and joy.
Lord, help me identify my fears because they are paralyzing me and keeping me from the joy that is waiting for me.
In what ways has your faith helped you to overcome your fears and experience the joy of the Lord? Click ‘leave a comment’ to share your story!