Daily Word of Grace # 120 (August 31, 2020)

There is something with which every person on the planet struggles: fear.  These fears come in wide variety—fear of heights (acrophobia), fear of enclosed spaces (claustrophobia), fear of flying (pteromerhanophobia—try to say that ten times fast), and of course, fear of clowns (coulrophobia—just ask Pennywise).  One of the best Far Side cartoons (in my humble opinion) taught me about “Luposlipaphobia—“the fear of being chased by timber wolves around a kitchen table while wearing socks on a newly waxed floor.”  On a more serious note, other common fears include fear of public speaking, fear of being found out, fear of failure, fear of the future, fear of being alone…on and on it goes.  In these troubled times many people are fearful, and acting out in response with plenty of anger and its creepy cousin, anxiety.  In scripture there are two antidotes for fear: God’s presence and God’s love.  God promises to be with us no matter what, even when (especially when) we are afraid—as the Lord assured Joshua, “Do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9) and as Jesus assured his disciples, “Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).  Moreover, God also promises to love us no matter what, with perfect love that literally “casts out fear” (1 John 4:18).  Whatever your fear may be, may God’s presence and love reassure you.

Love and Prayers,