Tuesday, December 22, 2015

On Not Being Brave

“Terrors startle him on every side and dog his every step.”  --Job 18:11

Lexi isn’t a brave dog. She can appear fierce, especially when in her excitement she’s barking and jumping and straining at the end of her leash. She’s fifty-five pounds and half Rottweiler; no doubt she’s intimidating. But the most innocuous things scare her: a snowman, an abandoned shopping cart, a plastic bag snagged in a bush. She stops dead in her tracks, her hackles go up, and she growls at the back of her throat. Then she begins a cautious, roundabout approach to sniff this alarming apparition. On winter mornings, when we walk in the mysterious semi-dark, everything scares her. She’s on high alert the whole time. Terrors startle her on every side and dog her every step. That doesn’t happen when we walk with God. Lexi’s menaces are imaginary. For us, evil is real. Yet Psalm 23:4 says, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for [God is] with me.” Bildad the Shuhite, a friend of Job, says that the place where terror dogs one is “the place of one who does not know God” (Job 18:21). When we know God, we know peace. We don’t have to be brave; we only have to trust in the Lord. “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid” (Psalm 56:3-4).

Dear God, I am not brave, but I don’t have to be afraid. Teach me to trust in you. Amen

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