There is a legend from the Orient about a traveler making his way to a large city. One night he meets two other travelers along the road –Fear and Plague. Plague explains to the traveler that, once they arrive, they are expected to kill 10,000 people in the city. The traveler asks Plague if Plague would do all the killing. ‘Oh, no.” says Plague, “I shall kill only a few hundred. My friend Fear will kill the others.”
Fear, whether real or imagined, can discourage us, overwhelm us, and strangle us. And fear is widespread in our society from the personal – fear of failure, fear of embarrassment, fear not being loved, to the social – fear that war and disasters will gone on forever, fear that society will collapse, fear that the pollution will kill us, and so on and on.
And in the church too there is fear. The personal fears. The social fears. And the spiritual fears. There a lot of people who feel:
- that they are not able to do anything important
- that they can not and do not make a difference to anyone,
- that they are unable to do even a part of what it is that God asks them to do,
- and that the great work that obviously needs to be done will never be done, and that they will let God down, and that God will let them down.
Many Christians are also in a mess, they have forgotten what their faith is about and they have forgotten what it is that God can accomplish.
Do these feelings describe your life – fear, despair, a sense of futility, a sense of hopelessness? Do you feel unexcited by your worship of the Lord? Unsure of just what the good news of the gospel is? Burdened by life and by what is that God asks of you? And yet wanting to believe – wanting to do what is right – wanting to have the life that God has promised us even in the here and now?
Wanting, and yet… you ask yourself, you wonder …(p. 1 of 4)