I let those five words breathe resolve into my fearful heart as I listened to more of the message.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shown around them, and they were terrified. But the angel of the Lord said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people! Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” New International Version, Luke 2: 8-11
Do not be afraid.
“Wow,” I thought with realization. “That has been my problem lately!”
I have been afraid.
Well, for those of you who know me personally, you know that our South African home has been the target of burglars on four different occasions while we are staying in the States. There is something on our property that these thieves desire, and they continue to return. They boldly have broken through the security measures that are in place at our house time and time again. Our house sitters are enduring violation after violation. Thankfully, they have been kept safe and protected. Yet, the situation is unsettling.
My family and I will return to our South African home in a month’s time. My fears have centered upon what we will find or not find upon our return.
My other fears have focused upon what and who I am leaving behind. My dad’s health has been one of my central concerns over the past seven months. For the first time in my life, I am facing the reality of my father’s mortality. I do not know the future. However, what I do know is that I will be separated from my parents for the next three years and will not be readily available to assist and support them as I have been doing over the course of our home assignment. I am saddened by that.
Consequently, I have grown fearful. I have been afraid to return to South Africa. I have been afraid to leave the United States.
Therefore, the angel’s words to the shepherds, over 2000 years spoke words of peace and comfort into my fearful heart.
Do not be afraid, Heather.
Your Savior has come to you, – this day and for all days.
He is Emmanuel – God with Us.
The pastor continued with His message. Yet the words I embraced were personal ones.
Jesus is my Savior.
Jesus is my Lord.
Jesus is my Comfort and Strength.
Jesus is my Peace.
What an amazing word for me as I prepare to return to South Africa and strive to finish well here in the States with my family.
Yes, there is Courage in Christmas! I find my Courage and Resolve in Jesus Christ, my Lord.
It is my prayer that you will find Courage in Christmas this day and all days as well!
Do not be afraid – there is Good News and Joy for you and for me!
Look up like the Shepherds and receive!
Image retrieved from http://www.freebibleimages.org/photos/shepherds-angels/