Twenty-second day of Advent: fear

December 21, 2014 § Leave a comment

“I don’t know what to write about today.”

“Have you written about fear?”

“No.”

“Write about fear, then. Fear is awesome. That’s an Advent theme, isn’t it?”

“Yeah, I guess so…”

“I just sparked brilliance in your mind, didn’t I?”

Yes, you did, little brother, yes you did.

And that’s how I came to write about fear on this twenty-second day of Advent.

*

“Do not be afraid,” the angel Gabriel says to Mary. “You have found favor with God.”

Gabriel is talking specifically about God’s blessing on Mary to be the mother of Jesus, but couldn’t Gabriel just as easily be talking to us?

I am often afraid. I am afraid about my future; I am afraid some terrible calamity may unexpectedly befall me or the people I love; I am afraid of what I don’t understand; I am also afraid of what I do understand. I think a lot of other people are afraid too.

But Gabriel says not to be afraid, and gives a reason why: “You have found favor with God.”

And isn’t that enough? To know that God has looked on us and said, “I love you.” Knowing that we are known and loved, that is a reason not to be afraid, that is a solid reason to stand upon and stare whatever beast we fear directly in the eyes and say, “I am not afraid. I have found favor with God.”

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.

*

P.S. You can read my October story about what’s going on in the brain when we’re afraid and how to prevent fear from overwhelming us in The Dallas Morning News here.

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