You shall cross the barren desert, but you shall not die of thirst.
You shall wander far in safety though you do not know the way.
You shall speak your words in foreign lands and all will understand.
You shall see the face of God and live.
Robert Dufford started writing ‘Be Not Afraid’ in 1972. He was on a retreat preparing to be ordained as a Jesuit priest. He was afraid, anxious about his future.
He thought about Mary, ‘greatly troubled’ when the angel appeared to her and said she would give birth to the Messiah. The angel’s words stuck with him: ‘Do not be afraid.’
If you pass through raging waters in the sea, you shall not drown.
If you walk amid the burning flames, you shall not be harmed.
If you stand before the power of hell and death is at your side, know that
I am with you through it all.
At our home group last week we read these words:
‘When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze…Do not be afraid for I am with you.’ (Isaiah 43:2,5)
We mused on the words ‘when you pass’ not ‘if you pass’. We all have floods and fire in our lives… our God doesn’t remove them but we pass through them.
It may be money troubles, sadness, bereavement, anxiety… friends and family… tough stuff that is part of life…
‘Be not afraid.’ My God is leading the way through the difficulties. ‘Come follow me’… I’m learning to be a disciple… I stay close to my leader… I don’t need to be afraid. He is with me giving reassurance, confidence, strength and peace.
Be not afraid.
I go before you always.
Come follow me, and
I will give you rest.