|Photo by Mark Tidsworth|
“There is no place where God is not,
wherever I go, there God is.
Now and always he upholds me with his power
and keeps me safe in his love.”
(Quoted in Foster and Roller, A Year with God)
God does not want us to live in fear. I understand that it is always presumptuous to say what God wants, but the clear message of scripture is that God wants us to be confident people who address the challenges of life with trust in God.
I say this because of the times I have faced situations that tempted me to be fearful—physically, emotionally, and spiritually—and lived through them. There is much in life that does place us in physical danger. There are situations that tempt us to dwell on our emotional inadequacies. And, certainly, there are many occasions that cause us to question our spiritual condition.
There are three significant dangers when we come to these points in life. First, we may camp out in that place. In so doing, we feed our fear and imagine that the next step will only make things worse. Most of the time, however, the reality we find around the next corner is not nearly as bad as we think it will be.
Second, we forget that there are others who travel with us. When we share our fears, even with others who are fearful, we find that our situation is not uncommon among mortals. In our mutual humanity, we find support for the journey.
Third, we often ignore our greatest resource—a God who created us and is present with us each step of the way. God may not lead us into the times of testing, but God is present even there.
Wherever we are, God is there. Wherever we go, God goes before us.