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Archive for November 26th, 2017

Hopes not Fears

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Lately I have been pondering fears.

Though I have a bushel-full of my own fears, lately they have become especially apparent to me in others. Perhaps it is always easier to see fears in the lives of others than in ourselves.

It is, of course, wise to use caution as we live our lives, but it is easy for caution to also prevent us from being open to opportunities for learning and for life.

Last week I was assisting a student in his memorizing of Psalm 23. I have learned that, when students work to memorize it is good to give them ‘hints’ that are funny or shocking, for when they get stuck.

For instance, if a student is stuck before verse 5, which says, “you anoint my head with oil”, I will give them the hint, greasy hair.

The particular student I was assisting last week was struggling to get the following verses mastered:

“Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me”

Finally I said to him, if you were in a dark valley, how might you feel? To which he responded, “scared”. Then I asked how he would feel if he knew that God was with him, to which he said, “not scared”.

Dark valleys, traveling to new places, starting a new job, going to a new school, moving to a new community, and trying new foods are just a few of the ‘dark and twisty’, fear-invoking experiences in life. But we can never forget that we do not enter into those experiences alone …  for you (God) are with me.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.”
Psalm 23

 

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