Do you all remember those shirts? The ones that had those big rugged looking letters shouting from the front or back of shirts about 15 years ago? They were very popular around the time I was in 8th grade. (and yes, I am dating myself *grin*)
The funny thing I recall about those shirts, is that they were seldom worn by the big, athletic guys of my school. They were typically worn by the thinner guys who might’ve had an alterior motive for advertising their courage… either to stave off the bullys, or look tough, or convince themselves!
As I left work Thursday and began the drive to Columbus, where I spent the evening training some wonderful foster parents about dealing with difficult kids (another post in and of itself), I realized I was feeling fear. Not fear about the training… I was admittedly excited about the material. No… fear about a certain snowball effect in another area of my life. There’s nothing quite like getting a phone call in the middle of the day that reminds you you are not in sole control of how events transpire.
I like to be in control. I mean, who doesn’t? I am not a control freak- I just like to know that someone is in control. And by someone, if I am being honest, most of the time I don’t mean God. Not that I don’t believe He is in Control, its just that He often doesn’t dish to me how He’s going to handle things. So when someone (little ‘s’) in control (little ‘c’) I feel a certain level of comfort in hearing them say, “here’s the situation, here’s how I intend to handle it, and here are some possible and likely outcomes”.
Thursday’s mid-afternoon call did not follow that pattern one iota and so by the time I was driving on I-270 toward Hilliard, I could feel the unsettledness in my bones.
I pushed it aside, best I could, to focus on the material I had prepared and the lovely parents who showed up in search of a little ecnouragement and hopefully an answer or two. For five hours, I stood on my feet in front of the little meeting room and spoke and answered questions. For the most part, I did without thinking about the phone call and the subsequent anxiety.
Of course I thought about it the whole ride home. And I dreamt about it all night. And then I woke up with it Friday morning.
And by 9a, I was undone. I was waiting to go in to the vet for an appointment and I sat in the car, on the verge of tears, and realized I was tapping my fingers on the steering will, my feet on the floor and that both of my legs were shaking.
For one the fact that my car is often piled full of, well, everything worked in my favor. My pocket sized leather Bible was just behind the passenger seat so I rummaged through it for a few minutes looking for some comfort (little ‘c’) and ended up running into The Comforter (big “C”)
Somehow there is nothing like touch of God on a particular worry to give it some perspective. Its that airplane effect… you know how not very long after take off, cars start looking like ants, until they turn into dots and then disappear below the clouds? When the hand of God gets near to a trouble, its a similar experience…
9 I took you from the ends of the earth,
from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, ‘You are my servant’;
I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
10 So do not 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.
11 “All who rage against you
will surely be ashamed and disgraced;
those who oppose you
will be as nothing and perish.
12 Though you search for your enemies,
you will not find them.
Those who wage war against you
will be as nothing at all.
13 For I am the LORD, your God,
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.
14 Do not be afraid, O worm Jacob,
O little Israel,
for I myself will help you,” declares the LORD,
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
15 “See, I will make you into a threshing sledge,
new and sharp, with many teeth.
You will thresh the mountains and crush them,
and reduce the hills to chaff. Isaiah 41
And then the words of Jesus in Matthew 10 to his beloved disciples:
26″So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. 30And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
This morning may you be reminded (with me *grin*) of that the Hand of God is indeed Might to Save.