A couple of weeks ago, I decided to give up something for Lent. This was a first for me. My church community doesn’t observe the liturgical calendar. But this year I sensed a divine nudging. So on Ash Wednesday I committed to give up…
Less than a day went by when my Chicken Little heart was tempted to fear over a pesky “what if.” (The sky is falling, ya know – according to cable news.) I must admit I succumbed; and because fears multiply like rabbits, my mind soon became a locked room filled with pacing fears, bumping into each other in the gloom and pending doom.
So I opened the Bible to redirect my thoughts toward the Resurrection, and my eyes fell upon John 20:
“On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. (John 20:19-20 ESV)”
First they heard His words, “Peace be with you.” He knew their fretful thoughts. Then He showed them His hands and side. The sight must have burned in their minds like the face of a newborn first placed in our arms.
I wonder if those scars came to Thomas’s mind on his way to being martyred in India? Did he then hear Jesus’ words, “Peace be with you?”
Isn’t it the same with us? If I close my eyes, I can see the scars; I can hear Him speak: “Peace.” And my unnerving fears are lost in gladness. And awe.
And so I discovered the key to unlocking my fears:
Look at Calvary.
Linger at the cross a little while when you are afraid.
And the murmuring, trifle fears running amuck in our minds will be hushed by the presence of the Prince of Peace. Because perfect Love casts out fear.
Ruth Bell Graham said:
“I learned that worship and worry cannot live in the same heart. They are mutually exclusive.”*
And here’s another thing:
After some moments contemplating Calvary, I realized my fear is a poke in God’s eye. It casts doubt on His love; His unconditional, unrestrained, unparalleled, and perfect love. As if the cross was not enough to prove Him true and trustworthy. Forgive me, Lord.
Do you have a nagging fear today?
If so, just set it down right next to mine – at the foot of the cross.