Kumbaya doesn’t really cut it anymore.

Fear feels dreadful. It sucks the life out of my soul, curls me into an embryonic state, and drains me dry of contentment. I realized today that when Fear shapes my life, safety becomes my god. And when safety becomes god, I worship the “risk-free” life. But can the safety lover do anything great? Can the risk-averse accomplish their daily purposes? No. The fear-filled cannot even love deeply; love is too risky. They cannot dream wildly; what if the dreams sputter and fall from the sky?

In essence, the worship of safety emasculates greatness.

Why is it that I expect peace to show up as a series of kumbaya hymns on Easter mornings? I assume peace resides in morning devotionals, quiet suppers, or easy qwells of life – never in a pink slip, a bear market and poor economy, or on a pre-op hospital stretcher. And yet, in the storms is when my character truly is tested, my limits pushed, and I end up a better “me” than before.

This phenomenon, in a word, sucks. I’d much rather push a button or yell at the drive-thru speaker an order of patience and peace, with a side of hope, supersized. This reality however only exsists in my mind, unfortunately. Not to mention that the journey makes the end result far more meaningful: like learning a musical instrument, aquiring a taste for fine wine, and falling in love- each day you progress and learn more, the better the wine tastes and the you fall in love more each day.

I’ve discovered that when Jesus sensed fear in people he’d be with, he would almost always mention courage-and he definitely always said, “I am here.” not in an arrogant way, but said more along the lines of when I’d spot my parents showing up for myjunior high volleyball match just to be there, just for me. Like waking up in an ICU room and hear your loved ones say, “I am here.”

We cannot go where God is not. Look over your shoulder; that’s God following you. Look into the storm; that’s Christ coming toward you.

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