Thought for the Weekend: Peace on Earth
With Jeff being home this week, I'm reminded of a Christmas story of when he was a toddler, and unable to sleep because of a terrible fear. He screamed in the night, and I arose from my bed to see what was the matter. He said that he was seeing a giant bug on the wall of his room. He was pointing to an area directly above the little lighted Christmas tree. I told him that there were no giant bugs, and to go back to sleep. He soon screamed again, and again I had to tell him and show him that there were no giant bugs. The third time he screamed, I was getting mad, and went into his room to tell him to knock it off. Then what to my sleepy eyes should appear? A foot long shadow of a bug; Jeff had much to fear! What was going on was that a tiny box elder bug was climbing on the Christmas tree, and every time it climbed on a light, the shadow of the bug projected on the wall! He was right, in his own little eyes. I felt like the Grinch for getting mad at him.
Jeff's story is a lesson for all of us. Fear gives big shadows to small things. What you focus on, you give power and life to. Once Jeff saw it was a common box elder bug, we had a prayer time, and soon he was nestled all snug in his bed. He went from fear to faith in minutes.
What you focus on, you give power and life to. Do you give life to your faith, or life to your fear? Fear won't take away tomorrow's troubles, but it will take away today's peace.
On the night of Jesus' birth, there were shepherds in the fields, probably looking in wonder at the beautiful star shining through the night. Then an angel appeared and they were terrified. Then the angel said, "Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be for all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord." The angel replaced their fear with great joy and faith, because of the truth. Just like Jeff.
Everyone has fears, so how do we go from fear to peace? First, when those fears start taking over, ask God for help. Let him show you what is truth and what are lies about your circumstances and about your tomorrows. And maybe most importantly, quit giving life to your fears by talking about them so much. That gives your fears a much bigger shadow that will follow you wherever you go. You may have some big fears and big problems, but always remember you have a bigger God. Ask God to help you trade your fears for faith, and bring peace to your life, starting this Christmas.
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." ----- Luke 2:14
I love the picture of the bug casting a big shadow in Bill's article and the fear it caused for his young son. In the support groups we run at our church, we often deal with fears. Some of our fears are very real and based on truth. leaving us to have make some hard decisions to stay safe and some of our fears are based on lies that cast big shadows like the one Bill's son saw. Those lies can cause fears that leave us paralyzed and unable to move forward. When we share our fears with the wrong people who can't discern the lies that create the enormous fear we experience, the fear only continues to grow. But if we choose to talk about our fears with wise people who help us discern the difference between the lies we believe and the truth, the shadows grow smaller and we can walk more securely in our faith. The truth is ruminating on lies casts big shadows resulting in paralyzing fears, while ruminating on God's truth puts things into perspective which keeps our fear from overwhelming our faith.