Thought for the week 11/07/22
“Nervously Praying for Boldness”
‘So do not fear, for I am with you.” Isaiah 41: 10
Life is full of scary things. Our fear often causes us to be silent. I wonder if we can nervously pray for boldness? In thinking about boldness, I wonder if you’ve ever felt scared – really scared.
A few years ago, I was really scared during a visit to Chessington. Although I was approximately 40 years older than the intended audience, I still volunteered to accompany one of our two children into the Reptile House. As the doors shut and the darkness covered us, I suddenly remembered an important detail – I don’t really like snakes, Iguanas or even tortoises. I wasn’t a celebrity, but I wanted out of here!! All we had to do was follow the trail. As our eyes adjusted to the gloom it became apparent, we were not alone. Behind glass tanks were the reptiles. Like most creatures in a zoo, they looked bored and sleepy. Praise God!! As we stepped back a cast member stepped out. So unexpected was the appearance of ‘Duckula’ that I let out an ear-splitting scream. I was terrified!!
There may be other occasions when we do not want to be scared.
In the middle of the night. When the Doctor approaches us. When our child leaves home. As a bill or bank statement pops into the inbox.
Life is filled with so much scary stuff.
Again, and again the Bible invites us to not be frightened. To tell someone to simply not be frightened is of course bad advice. We can’t just switch off feelings like that. Instead the Bible will often propose an alternative. Alongside the injunction to not be frightened we might be encouraged to think about other stuff instead.
In 1 Peter 3 we read: “Do not be frightened. But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord.” (1 Peter 3:14-15)
When we feel scared or frightened or just plain terrified, we have a choice. We can focus on the situation that is causing us angst and fear. Or we can focus instead of the character and nature of our Saviour Jesus Christ.
What’s the worst that could possibly happen?
In the Reptile house the possibilities for bad things happening seemed endless. However, logic dictates that most customers will not meet a grizzly end. In life too the possibilities for bad stuff happening seem endless. Yet logic dictates that even in life most of us will not meet a dreadful end.
Or at least, we don’t have to.
1 Peter 3:18: “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.”
When we focus on Jesus, and what he has done for us, we are pulled closer to God.
Or as Isaiah puts it: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand.” (Isaiah 42:10)
Let’s nervously pray for boldness this week and to know that God is indeed with us.