Even at my age of 44, I’m still afraid of the dark.
I’m not afraid in my own house because everything around me is familiar. I’m like a bat fleeting through the house, checking on all that goes bump in the night.
But put me in a tent out in the woods or an open field or even worse… a dark street, and I’m one scared putty cat!
I can imagine the shepherds on that night in the field. Their surroundings would be familiar to them because the open field was their home. Yet I’m sure the opening of the skies and voices of angels were a bit surprising.
Even in our familiar routine, surprises can set us on edge.
Unexpected events can induce fear even in our most secure places.
The angels anticipated this and immediately spoke to the shepherds fear. They brought words of reassurance. “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news…”
When the unexpected happens in our life, fear can come quickly and we can be held captive by our own fear, unable to move forward into the unknown.
Yet the shepherds… surprised in the dark and a bit on edge… trusted the words spoken to them and went in search of the One wrapped warm in the manger.
- What would they find there?
- Did they understand the significance of what they had been told?
There are times in our life when God surprises us with unexpected news and a new direction is announced which can set us on edge.
Yet even in the surprises of our life… in the unexpected… He speaks peace in our place of fear.
Unexpected changes in a relationship can bring fear. A surprising phone call can bring news we weren’t anticipating. And financial changes can be unnerving, causing fear to come to our hearts.
But just as the angels spoke to the shepherds that night, “Do not be afraid…”
Because in the unexpected, God speaks peace in our place of fear.
In the midst of some surprising news, the shepherds took some bold steps.
- They listened for instruction
- They followed the instructions
- They found what they were looking for
We may not understand the whole event or even the significance and magnitude of the unexpected events in our lives, but we can trust God as He gives instruction and we follow in that direction. He will work in and through the familiar and the unexpected to bring about good in our lives.
So do not be fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. ~ Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)
Pretty much every time an angel shows up anywhere in scripture their first words: “Do not fear.” Makes me wonder what they *really* looked like. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t like Roma Downey. Who’d be scared of that. But you’re right, the unexpected does tend to put us on edge. Especially during the holiday season.
Yes, I’ve been doing a study on that whole fear thing and how often God says, “Do not be afraid” to His people. I guess it’s something we struggle with. Thanks for sharing! And Merry Christmas! 🙂
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Wise words. I know change is usually God’s way of changing us, bringing us to better–but it’s hard to keep that spiritual truth in mind when faced with what at times feel like overwhelmingly real, human situations . . . a good reminder, this.
I would agree with you. It’s hard to keep “the better that will come” in mind in the middle of the hard times. It’s part of the faith journey… keep believing even through the difficult. Easier said, than done. Another reason why I’m thankful for grace in each moment. Thanks for sharing!