Stewardship: A Way of Life

Stewardship: A Way of Life

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“FEAR  NOT,  IT  IS  I…..”

FEAR!!  It is a word that probably has as many different meanings as to the number of people that you ask to define it.  Some people share a fear—snakes. heights. etc—. But no two people are exactly alike in their total emotions or  reactions to a fearful situation. What bothers one may never bother others. It fear good? Certainly, if it is a warning to impending danger for you. But some have feelings of fear that are not connected to a danger. Some people live in constant fear that can no longer be specifically defined. It just is. When fear, unjustified, cripples a person so that living a full and gratifying life is not longer possible, it is no good. So exactly, what is fear?  Webster:  to be afraid;  an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger; reason for alarm;  terror; dread; panic; profound reverence and awe esp. of God……… Uncontrolled fear with no basis might require professional help in order to put one’s life into a proper perspective for living a good life.  The life that God wishes for us all.

Is fear new? Absolutely not. A good dose of fear is probably what kept man alive and taught him how to survive in the primitive conditions in which we began to live. But where is God in this fear? Let us not forget that God created all emotions, the greatest of which is love. In the Bible we meet Peter, The Rock, in  whom Jesus chose to lead His people and create His church for all time. In the few descriptions of him personally, we find him to be a big man, very imposing to his followers. Don’t forget in the race to the tomb to find the missing Jesus, he was last to arrive. Did Peter experience fear? We have several stories. Recently, the Gospel tells us of Peter and his fellow Apostles in a boat in very rough seas. They were afraid. And then they saw what at first appeared to be a ghost walking on the water toward them. More fear. As it got closer, they  saw that  it was Jesus. And He said, “Fear not, it is I”. And the waters calmed. And in another story of the rough waters with the boat being tossed around, Jesus again came to them walking on the water and He said “Peter, come to Me.“ And Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water towards Jesus. No problem until Peter    probably thought about what he was doing, looks down and became afraid and began to sink.  Jesus response to Peter was “Oh ye of little faith……”

God and fear are not two separate entities, never to be joined in our thoughts and actions. God wants us to turn to Him whenever we feel the need or have uncertainties or are weak in our faith. Jesus came to His followers and appeared many times when they had problems, health, spiritual, doubts. Do we want to hear Jesus whispering in our ear ‘Oh ye of little faith?’ When life throws us so that our issues seem to make us feel that we cannot go on or that our strength has been totally tapped, this is when we need to envision Him walking on the waters toward us and so He will calm our waters.  Our Creator gave us life for joy.  And when we cannot feel this joy as life has a way of interrupting, that is when we need Him the most.  Remember the poem  ‘Footprints’?  When we look down and see only one set of prints in the sand, know that this is when He is carrying us. We are never alone, when in fear or not. When in joy, we profess a thank you. When life is throwing its curve balls, we say ‘Stay with me Jesus.’ And don’t look down as Peter did, and feel that suddenly you are all alone and no way can you do this. “Fear not, it is I.”  Even Webster recognized “profound reverence and awe of God…”

by Kathy Reilly