Sometimes we try to deal with life issues by pretending they are not there. Denial. Maybe we put it off. Ignore it and hope that it will go away. Fred Sanford once said, “Never do today what you can do tomorrow.” Procrastination. The truth is, life will neither be ignored nor wait. It demands attention – now.
Some medicate or even self-medicate to escape the pressures of life. Prescription drugs may ease the anxiety or depression but they do not remove the catalyst. Alcohol may help us forget the problems but tomorrow morning the challenges remain.
Life scares me.
People can be narcissistic, that is, self-centered and concerned only with their own appearance, reputation and glory. They hurt others as they seek self-glory. They leave a trail of broken and damaged people in their wake.
The business world has elevated corporate over personal and often demands so much of an individual that harm befalls the employee and the employee’s family. Rising debt, excessive taxes and pressure to measure up to a materialistic world only adds to our fear.
We have yet to even mention health issues. If you watch television you know that you now have every horrible illness known to man. The pharmaceutical companies want you to know that you are terribly sick but they have just the cure. And in case the pills don’t work there is always a lawyer ready to sue somebody.
Life is a scary place and there is plenty of fear to go around but is that the best we can expect from life? I don’t think so.
Jesus told his disciples that he came to give us abundant life (John 10:10). He often told his followers not to fear (Matthew 10:31; Luke 12:7, 32; Revelation 1:17). In John 17:15 our Lord prayed that his people would be kept from “the evil one.” In the Old Testament God promised Joshua, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5). In Job, the careful, guarding hand of God ensures Job will not be overwhelmed by the accusing Satan (Job 1:12; 2:6). Then there is this wonderful promise in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “[God]…will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape that you may be able to endure it.”
I also like to think of Jesus’ own words: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:29-31). Don’t rush through that passage. He says that if God cares so much about a bird, just think how much he cares about you! If God takes notice of that bird that flies into the glass doors at the church, don’t you think he notices when life causes you to trip and stumble?
My point in all of this is that life is scary but we do not face it alone. The one who created life in the first place leads us through the trials and intricacies of daily affairs. We are not alone! Didn’t the psalmist speak well when he said,
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.”
Praise God for his love, attention, guidance and companionship!