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Seeking Wisdom, Day 29 – Suppressing Fears

March 24, 2016

Wouldn’t it be grand if we could find a box big enough to contain all our fears? Let’s pretend we can box them up and throw them into the ocean. That done, we might find a few more lurking on our doorstep or hiding in a carton of oatmeal. Like creepy crawlers, nasty things won’t go away.

When Americans were afraid of Japanese and Germans, our enemies in WW2, President Roosevelt said, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” Then he put Japanese Americans in camps. People do strange things when they are afraid. Fear keeps us wound up in the past, afraid of the future, and wary of the unknown.

Proverbs 29: 25 suggests fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety. Plato said, “We can forgive a child who is afraid of the dark, the real tragedy is when men are afraid of the light.” When we are not fearful, we can begin to live.

Sometimes we are afraid that our work is imperfect, and we become angry, resisting further attempts, for we fear our work will never be perfect. Salvatore Dali, a 20th century Spanish surrealist painter said, “Have no fear of perfection; you will never attain it.” Losing fear, he set aside old rules to attain a new standard.

The Easter season is upon us. How worried and frightened Mary Magdalene and the other Mary must have been as they approached the tomb where Jesus lay.Suddenly there was a great earthquake, and an angel came down to set aside the stone sealing the entrance, saying to them, probably in soothing tones, “Don’t be afraid. Jesus is not here. He is risen from the dead just as he said.” As they went to get the disciples, Jesus appeared to them. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Go tell my disciples to go to Galilee and I will meet them there.” Matthew 28 tells the story, the miracle of the Resurrection that is repeated every Easter morning, Jesus returned and before he went to heaven, he said, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Then indeed, why should we fear when our God is with us to the end of our days and into the gates heaven. We are meant to push away the fear and live fully, not afraid of yesterday, today, or tomorrow.

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