Over a dozen times in the Gospels, Jesus tells the apostles and/or disciples to be not afraid. It seems those who followed Jesus then were often fearful--both of what they did not understand and of what they could not control. Those of us who follow Him today are not much different. I certainly am not. It can be easy to let fear rule or lives: fear about our past, fear about our future, fear about our family, fear about work, fear about our country and the state of the world, fear about our eternal salvation, fear, fear, fear. If left unchecked, this fear can lead to despair, and often times, is the root of various sins.
But Jesus tells us not to fear, and for good reason. Below is a short poem I wrote while reflecting on this truth. It is in the form of a prayer or conversation between Jesus and us. I pray that in some small way, it might help you to be not afraid.
It is I; be not afraid
Wipe your tears, forget your shame
Though the seas you are sailing may be stormy with strife
Fear not, I came to give you abundant life
How Lord? I've been so lost
Pursued the pleasures of this world at every cost
Denied you too, more times than I can count
Was willing to sell you for any amount
Hush my child and walk this way
My grace awaits you every day
One foot, then the other . . . climb the ladder high
Towards the dwelling place my Father has prepared for you from the beginning of time
I will try, oh God, but I'm still so scared
The trials of this life seem more than I can bear
Evil, sickness, death and sin
I can hardly breathe . . . the walls are closing in
Have you already forgotten that I walked this earth too?
Experienced sorrows and temptations just like you
But the penalty for sin, I bore for all mankind
Gave my body and blood so that you might become divine
My Lord and My God, let me touch your side and feel your hands
You are the Bread of Life without which I cannot stand
Abide with me, and I will fear no more
Anoint my head with oil . . . all your graces upon me pour
Arise faithful servant, there is nothing left to fear
Just open your heart, and I will always draw near
And though you will stumble, it's not the end of your story
Because from the day of your creation, I destined you for eternal glory.
God love you!