The Bible says to ‘fear not,’ but this doesn’t mean you should never feel scared. It means when you do feel fear, keep going forward and do what you are supposed to do. Or as I like to say, do it afraid. ~ Joyce Meyer
Fear is something that is with us quite often in our lives. Some people live with fear every moment of their lives. I think it is safe to say that we have all experienced fear at one time or another in our lives and we know how incapacitating fear can be.
Fear often prevents us from moving forward. We may know, in our heads and hearts, that we have to overcome our fears and move on; however, it is extremely difficult to do so.
Imagine what it must be like to encounter an angel. You heard me right: an angel. Especially in the Old Testament times. Encountering an angel back then generally meant someone was going to die — most likely the person to whom the angel appeared.
Today, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Annunciation. The Archangel Gabriel, one of the mightiest angels created, appeared to a teen-aged girl named Mary. Mary was a faithful Jew. She prayed, as did all of her people, for the deliverance of Israel. She prayed for the promised Messiah. She prayed and hoped.
Never in a million years, I would think, did she ever think that she would become an integral part of salvation history. She prayed for deliverance. But she was being invited to do more than pray. She was being invited to be intimately involved in the deliverance of her people by becoming the mother of the Messiah.
Joyce Meyer said to “do it afraid.” Mary was afraid, we know that. The first words out of Gabriel’s mouth were, “Do not be afraid.” Mary, confused and frightened, knew one important thing: she was God’s handmaid and, by God, she was going to do whatever her God asked.
She gave her fear to God and humbly as well as courageously said, “Yes. Let it be done to me according to your will.”
We are a lot like Mary. We pray every day. We pray for deliverance. We pray for God to come into our lives and into the lives of others. We long for a world that is free from hatred and suffering. We also know that our faith challenges us to go out into that angry and hostile world and be a witness to Christ. Does our fear immobilize us or are we willing, as Mary was, to say “Yes” to God?
FAITH ACTION: In very quiet prayer, call to mind the things about your faith life that cause you to fear. As you bring them to mind, make a conscious effort to hand those fears over to God and ask Him to give you the courage you need to live your life as faithfully as possible.