What Am I Afraid Of?

Have pity, God Most High!
My enemies chase me all day.
2 Many of them are pursuing and attacking me,
3 but even when I am afraid, I keep on trusting you.
4 I praise your promises!
I trust you and am not afraid.
No one can harm me …

You have kept record of my days of wandering.
You have stored my tears in your bottle and counted each of them.

9 When I pray,Lord God, my enemies will retreat,
because I know for certain that you are with me.
10 I praise your promises!      Psalm 56:1-4, 8-10 (CEV)

Today was a beautiful spring day in Boston, MA, perfect weather for running a marathon, I’m told (because I will never be running one!). Thousands ran. Thousands lined the streets. Among those laughing, happy people were some who were there to do evil. Bombs blew. People were injured. People were killed. People are frightened. Is there a name for our fear?

My life as a child in the 1950’s and 60’s in Midwest America was not as idyllic as Mayberry with Sheriff Andy and Aunt Bee and Opie but I do remember sitting on the front porch on summer evenings and knowing everyone who strolled down the street by name. I did not know what bigotry and prejudice was because we all went to school and church together. My first introduction to bigotry was in high school. I liked a boy named Randy. We’d walk the halls holding hands. He invited me to a church service one night and I went. It was a revival. I had never heard of a revival (I was Catholic) and the service was very different to me but I liked the music! The next day Randy ignored me in the halls. Two or three days later his best friend finally told me that Randy’s mother told him that he couldn’t date “someone like you, a Catholic.” I was very hurt and confused. I didn’t understand the differences between us for another 30 years. My father was Lutheran and I just didn’t understand why some people saw differences as such a negative, horrible thing. Didn’t we all believe in God?

Fast forward to September 11, 2001 and I am hurt and confused to realize that there are people in this world that believe their way is the only way and all other ways should be annihilated. Do we all believe in God? No, not everyone does or if they say they do, the God they believe in is intolerant, not compassionate, and condemning instead of convicting. What am I afraid of?

I am afraid that we who profess to know and serve Jesus Christ, the Son of God, will turn to our own reasonings and rhetoric instead of turning to Jesus, humbling ourselves, and calling out to Him to protect us, teach us and guide us in the way that we should go. Instead of posting prayers and God’s promises on our Facebook page, we post our angry paragraphs and inflammatory cartoons against those we believe are the cause of our wars, taxes, bombings and high gasoline prices! Is that what Jesus did? If legislating morality or appointing Believers to be governor was the answer and more powerful than prayer, do I not think Jesus would have done that? Do I doubt the power of God or think He “missed” the bombings this morning in Boston? Do I not know that He was right there to take that eight-year-old child home with Him so that he wasn’t afraid?

There is evil in this world. Terrible, horrible things happen in this fallen world. God sees and records every tear that falls. One day there will be an accounting of all that has happened. It’s called Judgment Day. That is God’s job. Our job is to pray. Prayer is for our benefit. So let’s do it!

What if His People Prayed written and sung by Casting Crowns

 

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