The LORD himself goes before you
and will be with you;
He will never leave you nor forsake you.
Do NOT be afraid;
do not be discouraged.”
(Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV)
Fear is paralyzing. Anyone who has lived into young adulthood and beyond has a story to tell about fear. Perhaps it was a simple fear of some seemingly easy task, like learning to ride a bike as a little child. Or, a more grown-up fear, like speaking or reading publicly. Or maybe, there was the great fear of a major life change — like a move to a new city, or for a new job, or a relationship change. The unknowns in life always breed fear and anxiety, at least initially.
Now that I’m in my 8th decade of life, I have many stories to tell regarding fear and how its tentacles strangled my life at different points. In junior high and high school, I couldn’t read aloud in a classroom, or play in a music recital, without a major anxiety attack. As a young military bride, I was very fearful of moving to new places and sometimes being basically homeless for a little while. After my two daughters were born, I realized that being a mother involved almost constant fear of not being able to protect my children always. Our last move, before my husband’s retirement from military service in ‘91, involved some very complicated logistics which prompted a lot of fear. That was when God gave me the above verse as a PROMISE, which became my mantra — to be repeated often throughout that time frame. Even to this day as well. It brought me tremendous comfort, reassurance and peace of mind.
In this Autumn season, think about the fear that might have a hold on you now. Then remember that you are not alone. Believe it. The Lord is with you. Remember that the Great God of the Universe is also the God of our individual, small human souls who loves you and will never forsake you. Never. Open your heart to God’s reassuring promise and claim it for yourself.
Let us pray...
Gracious God, thank you for going before me and preparing my path. Please help me to trust you more. May I give you my fears in exchange for your guiding hand, which I will hold tightly. Amen.