“The Lord is my light and my saviour; whom then shall I fear? The Lord is the defender of my life; of whom then shall I be afraid?” (Ps 26/27: 1, Septuagint-translation)
The opposite of fear is not courage, or self-confidence, but faith. When some form of fear or anxiety rears its ugly head in my heart, like the fear of financial insecurity, of human opinion, of abandonment and being alone, of “failure” or “success,” – it’s a tap on the shoulder, telling me that I’ve slipped away from God-reliance; I’ve lost sight of His loving presence in my life and my world.
So I need to hurry back into His hands, in some heartfelt prayer, letting His grace liberate me from the crippling effects of fear. Because God’s grace, – His “energies” of mercy, love, and Self-offering com-passion with us, – liberate me from the bonds of self-doubt that come from self-reliance, assuring me that I’ll be OK, and that I’m already OK, in God’s eyes, so I can humbly do the next right thing. If, on the other hand, I choose to engage with my fears on my own, in burdensome self-reliance, attempting to carry the weight of my whole world on my own shoulders, (which, as it turns out, is impossible), I find myself tied down in inactivity, which breeds more fear.
Today let me choose faith over fear, and hand myself over to God, as I move forward on my cross-carrying journey. “Come to me,” the Lord says to me, and all of us, today, “all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am meek and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”