Archive for the ‘Halloween’ Category

It had the face of an ugly old man and hung on the wall next to my father-in laws recliner. When you pulled on the string protruding from the bottom that ugly old man head broke out in a wicked laugh and squirted you with water coming from its mouth. The first time Grandpa held his grandson, my son, up to the face and told him to pull the sting it scarred the peediddles out of him. In fact it scarred him so much that whenever we drove to Grandpa’s house all he could think about is “the man” and whether or not he was there. Eventually Grandpa had to take the thing down.

Little boys are not the only ones who get scarred, who get preoccupied with fear, who become afraid. Fears abound, parents have lots of them, so do politicians, business owners do, as do employees, healthy people are not exempt, sick people have them, the rich, the poor, the strong, the weak, none of them are without them. Life is unpredictable in so many ways, it is impossible to find a truly save place. Violence, disease, senselessness, injustice, stupidity, disaster, tragedy, evil and the like are relentless, unpredictable, often unannounced, not just a prank, very real, and lethal.

Sick as I am I liked scaring my kids, still do, and the grandson had better get ready. My youngest daughter used to just collapse when I would jump out from a behind a tree when she had to feed her animals in the dark. Even now, as a young adult, she is leery to go out and feed them after the sun goes down if I am around, but she no longer collapses to ground instead she has transitioned to punching me, hard (I am kind of getting scarred of her punches).

FDR said, “So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” It was his first inaugural address as president and the US was in the midst of the Great Depression, people were facing hardship and were riddled with fears. He was right in that fear, being afraid, can be utterly paralyzing. I remember asking my aunt why the German people did not rise up against the atrocities perpetrated by Hitler, “You don’t know fear” was her reply. The Apostle Paul reminded Timothy not to let his fears paralyze him, God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline” 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT). Solomon reminds us, If you faint in the day of adversity, Your strength is small” Proverbs 24:10 (NKJV).

President Roosevelt was also wrong, we do have more to fear than fear itself, namely God. It is when we fear God that we maintain the right perspective on all of life. It is in contemplating and acknowledging his power, his sovereignty over life, death, right, wrong, and us throughout all of eternity, that we become truly wise, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” Proverbs 9:10 (NASB). Jesus warned, “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him (God) who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” Matthew 10:28 (NASB, parenthesis mine). And it is when we trust in his love, when we are transformed by his love, that fear is finally defeated, If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us” 1 John 4:15-19 (NIV).

To God be all glory, love you, Pastor Hans






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