Wednesday’s words: Do not fear

Often in scripture, it is written “do not fear.” Sometimes it refers to enemies that have come against the Israelites, and other times it refers to other obstacles that stand in the way.

There is a popular Christian chorus called, “Do not fear… I am the Lord.”  I first heard this chorus in 2004 at a conference I attended in Poland.  It quickly became one of my favorites.  My heart was drawn to this chorus again when I received news that a pastor friend of mine in the Donetsk oblast is incurable cancer.

I have grown to love this pastor over the last year as I have had several opportunities to preach in his church and even helped with their children’s camp last summer.  This summer a mission team from Second, Russellville worked closely with his church.

So, when I got the word yesterday from a friend, my heart was saddened by the news.  He has worked with other churches in the area and helped them immensely.  I could tell from my friend’s voice that he was shocked by the news.

I doubt there are many families that haven’t been affected by cancer in some way.  This news comes on the anniversary of my own mother and father’s deaths from cancer in August.  So, I know the impact of cancer.

Yet, as I reflected on the words of this chorus yesterday, my heart was turned to the truths it proclaims:

When you pass through the water I will be with you,
And the waves they will not overtake you.
Do not fear for I have redeemed you.
You are mine.

For I am the Lord Your God.
For I am the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I am the Lord. (Women: Do not fear.)
I am the Lord. (Do not fear.)
I am the Lord. (Do not fear.)
I am the Lord. (Do not fear.)
I am the Lord.

Even now as I type these words, I am thinking about him and his upbeat demeanor in June.  Even though he was facing uncertainty in why he was losing weight rapidly, going through a regime of medicine, he laughed and enjoyed life.  I guess in many ways he understood what it means when said, “Do not fear, I am the Lord.”  May I hold fast to this truth…