Fear not, God is with us

By Helen Guilford

Several years ago, the theme of the annual conference of our church was, “Be not afraid … God is with us.” If the speaker on the platform said, “Be not afraid”, the response was, “God is with us.” If we heard “God is with us”, the response from the floor was, “Be not afraid.”

That’s a really good theme to carry with you each and every day because fear is a part of life. Yet, because God is with us, we need not fear where we will spend eternity.

Me afraid? Are you kidding?

Startled? Yes. Scared? Yes, but it is momentary. It just isn’t in me to be a scaredy-cat!

When I was about six or seven, I heard Dad bragging to Grandpa that I was never afraid of anything. He could send me to the barn on an errand even after dark and I was not afraid. Yeah, it looked that way to Dad but he didn’t know I ran as fast as I could both ways! Why? I was scared!

Well, one night recently I was reminded of that fear.

Bebe and I were alone in the house as usual. No one else. Not even another animal.

I was quietly involved in something at the computer when, suddenly, there was a noise from another part of the house. Not an outdoor noise, either. This noise came from somewhere inside the house. Now remember I said Bebe and I were alone. She was in her usual place less than arm’s length from my feet. The noise came from somewhere ELSE in the house.

Bebe was startled and looked to me for comfort. I had little comfort to give because I was just as startled as she was.

I waited. Listened for something more.

Nothing more came. So I finally gathered all my courage (which wasn’t much) and walked through the rest of the house. (Bebe stayed put awaiting my return.) The television was either off or muted. What else could it be? I looked out the windows. Nothing unusual out there either.

I went back to the computer.

Soon, it was bedtime so Bebe and I made our last trip outside for the night – carefully, alertly. Still no indication of the source of that unwelcome noise in the house. As we settled in for the night, I added safety from that noise to my list of prayer requests and asked for undisturbed sleep.

It was a day or two later that I figured it out.

I had let the recycle bin get so full it had overflowed spilling the overflow on the utility room floor. What caused it? Probably one of those things that shall forever be known as “things that go bump in the night”.

I did not worry about that noise, but I will admit to being more alert to my surroundings. I did not lose sleep over it. I laid it to rest for the night because “be not afraid … God is with us” is more than just a theme for a conference. It is a theme to live by.

Put your faith in the One whose birthday we celebrate at this season – Jesus who was born in a humble setting so that even we humble people today can find salvation in Him.

“Be not afraid … God is with us” in the person of Jesus Christ.

On Christmas we celebrate His birthday. There is no better time to trust Him as your Savior.

By Helen Guilford