Up until this year, I have always considered “Fear Not!” the angel’s greeting. You see an angel and feel fear; the angel reassures you. Right??
No, Fear Not is the most repeated command in the Bible (see last post). God commands us not to have fear when all looks lost. I meant to keep writing on this subject, but the words did not come – until this week.
Who has experienced fear this week? In our area, there has been constant newsplay about a school shooting in another state. A tornado hit very close to our town. Three times last week, the school sent messages home that there were credible threats at the schools where my children attend. Two neighboring schools also had these threats.
There is so much hatred on social media directed towards the shooter, the shooter’s family, parental discipline (or the lack thereof), schools, teachers, administrators, and polar opposite political issues about how to “fix” this situation. This is an ideal time for anyone with an extreme position to use the “garbage can theory” approach to say if we only did this (fill in your favorite cause) then this could be prevented.
Why is this so divisive in the media? Satan loves to make us afraid and he loves to divide. Many of the extreme reactions prey on our deepest fear – the safety of our children. I am certain that change needs to happen (insert your favorite solution here), but that solution does not need to be bathed in parental fear. It needs to be bathed in wisdom and prayer. It needs to be bathed in seeking God to open our eyes to show us how we can be part of the solution.
Genesis 21: 15-19 NIV
When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes.Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there, she began to sob.
God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”
Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.
So, in this passage, Hagar is afraid for her child’s life. This fear is completely legitimate. She has every reason to believe that her child is going to die of dehydration and heat exposure. It is here that she hears the command of God to not be afraid. Only then did she see the solution. A well had been there the entire time. She was so afraid that she did not see the solution to save her child.
Parenting is scary business. There are plenty of times that we want to bathe in fear. However, God commands us not to fear. When we are being afraid, the divisiveness from the Devil grows. We miss what God intents. When we seek his way, the solution may be right in front of us. Don’t be afraid!