It is obvious, that lately, we’ve all been given doses of worry and fear. I picture a very silent and invisible creature injecting us with a black substance while sleeping. It is a time in our world where production of many things have halted, yet fear seems to be producing and distributed like ramped. Invisible, indeed. Although, the affects are like a neon sign, hanging from the door of the trashiest pub on Main and First Street.
This past week, I studied Paul’s voyage from Adramyttium to Italy (Acts 27, 28). It reminded me of a chapter out of suspense novel. So much detail and drama unfolded. Physically battling forces of nature, barely having time to eat, sleep, and breath, the crew fought aimlessly for their lives, and to protect their cargo and their ship. I even had to catch my breath, a time or two. But not just forces of this unpredictable world did they battle, but every passing moment, their fear escalated. Their spiritual world was also being tested, rocked, and threatened. And they lived to tell a story that continues to be told going on 2000 years! Fear overwhelmed them like the crashing waves, and the hurricane-like winds that battered their ship. And even Paul needed to be told, “do not fear”. Yes, Paul, a man of great faith. Fear, and his earthly wisdom and experience, threatened his faith.
I’ll admit, my fear of what the remainder of 2020 will be like has me questioning my day-to-day decisions with a little more discernment. I try hard to get useful facts, and throw away the rest like the shuck off corn. Not all of it digests well, also like corn. But God gives us wisdom in many different ways. We must stay alert, or the lion that prowls, looking to attack, will devour. There is no question about that truth. We are to be watchman, calling things as we see them, according to God’s truth; all with our spiritual eyes. It is what good disciples do. We are to fish from the right side of the boat, because that is where Jesus told us to cast our nets. He knows all, and knows best! But good disciples also carry around mustard seeds. Fear isn’t part of their wardrobe. And when there is a mustard seed, and fear being darkness…it is overcome by its light.
I have a big sign in my office that reads, “Let your faith be bigger than your fear”. But the life I want to live is a life where fear cannot exist. And where there is faith, there is no fear. They cannot co-exist. One is light, the other, darkness. If you’ve ever seen a mustard seed, then you know how tiny they are. And not just tiny, but the most insignificant seed in the Middle East – and Jesus says, faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain. Nothing is impossible! Nothing is immovable with God! Where there is faith, there is no fear! And where there is faith, there is a Way.
Faith is a gift. And we receive that gift in small, medium, and sometimes large packages. But every package is bigger than anything fearful. We must carry our gift of faith on us at all times. It is a piece of the armor that God provides. It is the shield that protects against the enemies arrows…and in this case, the black substance the enemy gives. Stay awake! Don’t let the enemy see you sleeping. Be watchman! And let others know when you see the lion lurking behind the bushes. Cast your nets, and watch as Jesus continues to draw in more and more believers to Himself. Open your pockets and share your seeds with others, because they need them, too! Share your faith! And be a witness of the disappearance of fear.