A wise person said that fear is the opposite of contentment. And I have been grumbling a lot lately about my life, so I decided to see if there was anything that I was afraid of:
- I am afraid of messing up and letting people down. Around Christmas, that means parties, presents, and freshly baked cookies. But I can’t keep up…but I can’t let them down…so…
- I am afraid of the world exploding on some level or another. With all the natural disasters, there are many opportunities for my happy little routine to go down the drain.
- I am afraid of doing things just to please people and missing what I am really supposed to be doing. Yes, this contradicts number 1. So yes, in the end, I can theoretically find something to worry about at all times.
I could go on, but why? The world is a scary place. But we forget that it is only the world. It was created. And the Creator has stepped in to tell us that He has it under control. We can see that in an encounter that happened right before Jesus was born. One of Jesus’ relatives was at work in the temple; Luke 1:11-17 records it:
“11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth,15 for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, 17 and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.'”
Do you ever feel that your fear is a giant black blanket smothering you into the ground? Well, every time one of God’s messengers steps into someone’s life, they remind them to not be afraid. This is a good message for us, even if we do not see an unearthly creature: God is in control of bigger problems than we can grasp. And as Paul taught, when we understand who He is, and how He loves us, we can be content at any time. Paul wrote in Philippians 4:11-13:
“11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
Content. At peace. Isn’t that what Christmas is really about? It is the joy of a plan that worked to save the world. And we are just waiting to see the enemy camp collapse. I need to give up my fears and focus instead on the God who is still in control of this crazy world. And who knows what can happen then!
God, I’m sorry for worrying so much about me. I worry about how I look, how my life will work out, and if I will mess everything up. You are good, You are at work, and doing much bigger things. It is like me trying to fix a 2nd grade science project while You want me to watch a supernova. Thank You for being Father God, and loving so patiently. Please help me to “fear not” and look to You for the strength to do all things. Amen.