Be Not Afraid

If an angel suddenly appeared out of the starry sky and started talking to me, I’d probably freak out. Just a bit. That’s just not something you see coming, right?

I wonder what the shepherds thought that holy night thousands of years ago, as they leaned on their walking sticks, checking their sling shots, while standing in sheep doo-doo. We have to believe that when “the glory of the Lord shone around them,” things got pretty bright! I can imagine them squinting, covering their eyes, while trying to figure out what they were protecting their sheep from. And shaking like crazy in their sandals.

And then the angel’s voice…
Do not be afraid.

I love that.
Right off the bat, the angel was telling them there was nothing to fear.
That angel knew that our first response to something strange or unsettling is…we get afraid.

Some of my girlfriends and I were talking this week about Fear and Faith. And how you can’t live in both worlds at the same time. Our question became…So then what?
How do we move from fear to faith? How do we let go when we so desperately want to control and fix and make the things that scare us go away?

Here’s what I’ve learned when that thing we can’t control starts shouting at us and blinding our eyes and we need to move to Faith…
We choose to move.
We choose to focus on The One who always, always, always says, Do not be afraid.
We turn our attention from the unknown and the what-ifs, and look at what is true. That truth that we find in the Holy Word.
God is faithful. He redeems. He heals. He forgives.
He. Shows. Up.

After the angel appeared to the shepherds and told them about Jesus’ birth in a manger, “a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God…”

Can you imagine what those shepherds were experiencing! Oh my word. I wonder what they sang. I bet the harmony was even better than the Bill Gaither Vocal Band. All in worship to God. This was something to write home about!

And their response? Let’s go and see what those angels are talking about!

They moved from fear to faith on that brilliant, heavenly night.

This Christmas we are faced with a whole bunch of things that fall into the fear category.
Let’s remember that fear has a way of constricting and blinding and freezes us in place.

We don’t need to stay there.
Instead…Choose Faith.

Let’s go and see what those angels are talking about!

You are Extraordinarily Significant!