Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Don’t be afraid,
It’s going to be fine,
How many times have you said those words to someone or even verbalized them to yourself? We all go through times of fear and worry. It’s all part of our human make up. Still its difficult to imagine being out in the middle of nowhere, tending a flock of sheep, when suddenly the heavens are brightened by one single star and hosts of angels join in amazing songs. Picture yourself being confronted by the angel of God – an actual messenger from heaven – and gaining your composure instantly. I think the natural inclination would be to be scared out of our wits.
The idea of heavenly visions might seem like hallucinations.or being in another zone or space. It’s almost unworldly, but the fear remains. If I as approached by a heavenly being in the middle of a nothing kind of day, my first inclination is not to say, “Hi, angel of God, how’s it going?” I’d be scared to death, just like most normal human beings are when confronted with the unknown.
It’s funny how God uses these confrontations to actually calm an individual and give them the strength they need to go through what lies ahead. Zachariah was going about his duties in the temple when the angel approached him to reveal that his wife would bear a son in her old age. Daniel was protected by an angel when thrown into the lion’s den. Moses heard the voice of God as he was directed to approach pharaoh and take his people out of slavery. An angel appeared to Joseph and Mary as they were told that Mary would have a son and He would be called Immanuel. During each of those encounters, the angel or God Himself would utter the words, “Do not be afraid.”
In our human way of thinking, we would wonder what was going on. We might think we’re crazy or had a bit too much wine, or we’re simply overworked, but if we were in the presence of God and His holy angels, it would be difficult not to be afraid.
Still those words of consolation and encouragement allow us to accept what is about to happen without question. I think that’s what God wants from us – complete submission and dependence on Him. Of course He’s given us a free will. We can still make our own decisions and feel the natural fear that comes along with such and event. Fear gets the adrenaline pumping and you have the energy to complete God’s plan for your life.
When we tell our children not to be afraid, we’re assuring them that,
we have their backs,
we love them and don’t want to see them suffer,
we wish to give them confidence in their own abilities, but also remind them who is in their midst and in charge.
God in his wisdom and might, does the same thing for all of us.
If we remember that God is in complete control of our destiny, we have absolutely nothing to fear. As the perfect Father, we know that He will never let us down. Even though the situation may be difficult to understand, we know that our God is at our side and will never forsake us. Don’t be afraid. God has this!