“After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: ‘Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward’” (Genesis 15:1).
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life” (John 6:44-47). I have been sent by the Father into this life to receive His Son and to be filled by His Spirit. Did Jesus not speak this truth outright? Did the parables Jesus spoke to His disciples not tell of this wondrous truth? I carry with me what feels much like a recollection of a place not of this world, like a fleeting memory, its fullness, hidden from me for a time. I recall a place of peace; a place where it is never night; a place of stillness and clarity and love. I have stood on a magnificent colonnade looking out into the heavens. I have walked through a complex made up of many rooms; the one Isaiah prophesied; the entire structure shined like translucent gold; I was given then, the perception of preparation underway.
“After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: ‘Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward’” (Genesis 15:1). But despite all that God has shown me, despite Jesus appearing to me, I still have a fear; a fear that I find excruciatingly paralyzing at times. Poverty and homelessness, hatred and rejection, even torture and death; all of these are frightening, but I can bear any of the trials to come, because I know that God will preserve me, even unto death. So then, what is it that I fear so much? What fear grips me so… that I remain so hesitant and timid? When God asks me… what is it that I’m so afraid of… I answer Him, “Lord, what if I’m wrong?” Genesis records many instances in which Abraham experienced fear and indecision, and situations in which he stumbled and sinned, yet God was faithful to His promise. “What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. What does Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness’” (Romans 4:1-3). When I was a boy, I feared what might be lurking under my bed; those were simpler days.
I have confessed my greatest fear to you, my brothers and sisters. Please keep me in your prayers, and I am happy to keep you in mine.
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