Crises and Fear
I remember reading Gail Sheehy’s book, Passages, shortly after it was published back in 1976. The book is subtitled “Predictable Crises of Adult Life.” Chapter One opens with Sheehy under fire – gunfire. “I was talking to a young boy in Northern Ireland where I was on assignment for a magazine” she writes, “when a bullet blew his face off.” Sheehy soon found herself frantic for cover. Laying face down on her stomach with a group of other refuge seekers a grim realization gripped her: “No one is with me. No one can keep me safe. There is no one who won’t ever leave me alone.” (pg 5).
“I had a headache for a year,” she continues, “…could not confront the fact of my own mortality… To be confronted for the first time with the arithmetic of life was, quite simply, terrifying.” (pg 6).
This past Sunday Don Longworth shared with us the grand difference the ever-present Christ makes when a believer confronts the predictable — and often unpredictable — “Crises of Adult Life.”
As a reminder, here are some of the “passages,” promises really, that the Lord gives to His own:
- Heb. 13:5 “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
- John 14:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled…”
- Matt. 28:20 “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
- “Do not be afraid,” said the angel to Zechariah… to Mary… to Joseph” (Luke 1:13, 30, Matt. 1:20), and to certain poor shepherds, “Do not be afraid” (Luke 2:10). “Immanuel” — “God with us” was to be His Name, and is still His Name today. He is The Unchanging One. (See Heb. 13:8).
“The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid,” sang the psalmist, “What can mere mortals do to me?” (Psalm 118:6 / 56:3-4) — Indeed, What can mortality do to me? At the moment the penitent soul surrenders to Christ, placing full trust in Him, God’s gift to that soul is eternal life — now! Death is but a bump along the way.
For the Christian, even if bullets may fly, the great reality is this: Some One is always with me. Some One Who can keep me safe. He is Some One Who won’t ever leave me alone!
“There is no fear in love” (1 John 4:18).