Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16 (NIV)
Face-to-face with fear. The armed and armored behemoth towers over the gentle shepherd boy cupping five stones in his hand. The reluctant prophet beleaguered by aquatic acids. The bent-down, faithful servant of the Most High sharing peaceful slumber as an angel harnesses the jaws. Three friends who refuse to worship the gold fellowship in fire to emerge unscathed. The God-Son’s hands caress the wood in his shop knowing it’s always about a far greater purpose. To be complete, to be sound. Shalom. Yahweh Shalom.
Not for the faint-hearted. To share in His glory we must share in His suffering. This looks different in every believer’s life. Addiction, depression, divorce, death, disease, loss, abundance, poverty, wealth. The result is the same. Character. His character. Reshaping our lives to look like His. New life. Reformation. Re-formation. The stench of self made fragrant in the fracas. A noisy brawl between life and death. Sweet victory.
An inviting, comfy chair. Included in the package, a place for resting weary feet. A corner of the world in which to unwind while looking out of the sunroom’s sliding doors, masquerading as windows. Seasons change, weather plays no role here. From sunrise to sunset and back again. Ever available. This is our meeting place. A secluded spot to rendezvous with the Lover of my soul. The grace-Giver. As I sit at the table opposite of this chair, head bowed, searching for answers, the answer to all answers comes. It’s not about finding the answers, it’s about finding Him. The One Who never leaves the chair or my side.
Fear flees in the face of Jesus.
The valley of the shadow of death. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid. Fear. Held captive by fear. The shadow of death. Not actually death itself. The shadow may fall on my path, but the shadow itself is not to be feared. Can a shadow do any harm except to inspire dread? He saw the wind? How can you see the wind? The effects of the wind, sure. But the actual, physical wind? Unlike the shadow the wind is unseen, its damage, however, is painfully evident. Fear no evil for I am with you. I Am. Peter took His eyes from Jesus and fear became his focus. Teach me to be captured by courage not held a captive to fear.