We’re told there is much to be afraid of these days. The world is a scary place. Politicians remind us of what we should fear. The news can leave us unsettled at best, terrified at worst. Hopefully our fears change over time. As a child you may have been afraid of the dark. Maybe you worried about monsters in the closet or under the bed (we didn’t want to stick our feet out of the covers for fear something might eat our toes). As adults we get a whole new set of fears, perhaps about finances, handling debt and planning for our future. Or we fear for our children and grandchildren and their safety. We wonder and worry about what kind of world they will inherit.
As an adult, I’ve had to learn when to be afraid and listen to my fears and when to dismiss them or at least turn them down. This past year I have experienced the death of friends and family close to my age. To be honest, this hit me harder than I expected. I began to worry uncharacteristically about my own mortality and how much life was ahead for me. It did motivate me to exercise a bit more, which is probably a helpful response. I think I now wrestle spiritually with how I want to use my time and what I want this chapter of my life to mean to me, my family and to God. This Sunday we read a most familiar passage of scripture, Psalm 23. Here is a place where the Bible acknowledges real fears about enemies, death, life’s hardship and stress and their effects on us. The Bible hits home on things that matter much to us! During the month of October, we’ll talk about the “Monsters Under the Bed” and the fears we have to face and overcome. Yet our faith says much here. In fact, the Psalms speak often to the fears that life delivers to our doorstep. The Psalms invite us to see and live the reality of faith in a new way. The Psalms recognize the reality of our fears but believe even more in the saving reality of God. Join us Sunday as we again meet and know God’s gracious love that can calm fears, deliver strength and courage and remind us we are not alone in facing any fear.