Sunday, July 24, 2011


“God’s faithfulness is a protecting shield. You shall not fear the terror of the night nor the arrow that flies by day.” Psalm 91: 4b-5

This past weekend a madman in Norway killed almost 90 people, many of them young people at a youth camp. He apparently entered the camp dressed as a police officer and not only shot people point blank, but would lure people over to him with his disguise and then shoot them while looking them right in the eyes or as they ran away or tried to swim to safety. Terrorism has many faces and it comes in many forms, but at its heart it is the same: take people from their safety and comfort and not only injure or kill them, but do it in the most terrifying way and fill their hearts and minds with terror at the same time. And the other point is to leave fear in the hearts and minds of each of us who see the images or hear about the attacks. Unfortunately this is not new and more unfortunately, it will not be the last such attack in the world. From the Middle East to Africa, from Europe to the United States, there are people bent on filling the world with fear, destruction and death until they get their way. In addition, there are also very unstable people who inflict this kind of mayhem on others without any kind of reason or ideology.

So what is our response as people of faith? Well, certainly prayer for the victims and for those who think killing and terrifying others is a morally acceptable course of action. Others may be called to heroically defend innocent people as members of the military or as police or other defense officials. Still others may be called to help find and mend the injured as rescue personnel or medical professionals. But most of us will simply try to live our lives and hope to not get caught in the middle of someone else’s hallucination or agenda. But as we do this, will we live in fear? Will we always be looking over our shoulder? Or will we just try to ignore the danger and try to acquire as much wealth as we can and have as much fun while we can?

I think that if Jesus is the center of our heart and the foundation we walk upon, then we have no reason to fear anyone or anything. Certainly there are times and situations where we will be afraid and there might be instances where our intuition saves us or protects us from being vulnerable. But I think as people of faith we go through this life realizing that this life is not the only life we were created for and that we need to pursue greater things than simply the goods and pleasures this life has to offer. We also realize that even if everything and everyone in this life were taken from us, that Jesus remains and that He is in control and that He will not abandon us or leave us. Ultimately we realize that while we do not have to let this world become hell, we also do not want to think it will become our heaven either.

And so with this mindset, this faith, this grace filling our hearts, there is no room left for fear. God does not promise that we will never get sick or die. He does not promise that we will not suffer. But He promises to be with us at all times—even in the face of terror. And with this comforting thought we journey on ready to face whatever the Evil One throws in our path.

Dear Jesus, thank You for Your presence with me. Thank you for protecting me and being faithful to me. Help me to always keep my heart and mind filled with You and Your grace so that there is no more room left for fear. Amen.

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