Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Did you know that there are 365 verses in the Bible that tell us not to be afraid?  One verse for every day of the year...except Leap year, of course.

have learned this fact recently from my kids' Christmas program "Fact or Fiction: The Christmas Edition." (Super cute and well-done by the CWKids, by the way.)  Actually, I have learned it more than five times a week over the last two months!  Call me a slow learner, but I think I needed to hear that.  I am not sure it would have sunk in if I had only heard it once or twice.

I am just intrigued by this.  I can't stop thinking about it.   One Scripture every day that says do not be afraid.  I am amazed about what that says about our God.  He knew.  He knew we would be prone to fear and worry, and He planned for that.  It just blows me away that his level of detail-planning includes telling us not to fear.  I think He knew that this would be something people struggle with on a daily basis.  So He provided words for us to turn to, words of comfort, that tell us not to be afraid.

Joshua 1:9 tells us not to be afraid or discouraged; be strong and courageous.  God is with us wherever we go.  It is one thing to tell somebody not to be afraid.  It is another thing entirely to tell them  not to be afraid because they are not alone.  God is with us wherever we go.  He had already paved the way.  He is by our side.  

Thinking about the 365 verses makes me want to go look them all up.  (Putting that on the "someday" list...can't quite get that done right now.). But even if I don't know all of them, or even some of them, I know they are there, and I find that comforting.  I CAN go find them if I need them.

Not if I need them.  When I need them.  I will need them.  Just today I have had the fears that an inattentive driver was going to hit me in the school parking lot.  That I would not know how to help a new student I am tutoring.  That my kids are a little short on gratitude and a bit big on self-centeredness lately.  That Todd's cancer might come back someday and we won't be on top of it as we were the first time.  That I won't get all of my stuff done before Christmas.  

Big fears, little fears, medium fears.  There are things that I fear every single day.  Some of them are irrational; some are a little more understandable.  Either way, when the fear starts to take over,  I have to remind myself to turn back to the Word.  Some days that is easier than others.  When I am really feeling anxious, I can only come up with two or three verses.  It is the same ones all the time, but they soothe me.  They speak to me.  Psalm 23, Proverbs 3:5-6, Jeremiah 29:11, Philippians 4:7. And 1 Peter 5:7 are my "go to" verses.  No matter how many times I hear those, they still help calm a restless and worried spirit.

When I am too worked up to be able to do this for myself, I have learned to reach out to certain people.  "Pray for me.  I am struggling."  Those words never fail to elicit a response.  Just a simple text and I can set my personal team of prayer warriors into action.  I receive responses back that let me know that it will be okay.  When I can't think straight enough to put two thoughts together because I am gripped with fear or anxiety, my "people" point me back with a hug, a word of encouragement, or a well-timed verse.

God does not want us to be afraid.  He wants us to be joyful.  He wants us to trust in Him.  He already has it all figured out.  First John 4:18 tell us that perfect love casts out fear.  When I am afraid, I need to realign myself with the One who is Perfect Love.  

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