‘I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to protect us from enemies on the road, because we had told the king, “The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him, but his great anger is against all who forsake him.”’ Ezra 8.22
This verse is so honest: Ezra was forced to confront what he really believed about God and whether he was willing to act upon his conviction? He certainly seemed to be in a position where he could understandably ask for human protection, but given what he really believed – should he do this? Eventually he concluded that he should put his trust in God alone.
Perhaps one area we all have in common that causes us to face this challenge is fear. Different things cause us anxiety, but given our faith - that we are loved by God and that he has promised to be with us wherever we go - why is it that we let anxiety and fear grip us so often? Their presence is actually like a ringing bell asking us what we really believe; are we certain that the loving God is actively with us?
When you next feel fearful, instead of giving in to it or pretending it doesn’t exist, try
letting it draw you to a deeper truth and make a decision to focus on this instead. What is it that brings you fear and anxiety? What is the truth that stands against these fears? Rejoice in these truths, celebrate them, and walk into this day with God’s presence with you.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission