A new year has begun. A new decade is here. I’ll turn 59 this year. Part of me still feels thirty-something inside, but my body reminds me more and more often that I really am in my late fifties.
Aging sometimes makes me nervous, even fearful. There’s a far better chance that I’m in two-thirds life rather than midlife at this point. (There’s always the thin chance that I’ll end up breaking the world record for longevity!).
But you know what the good news is for me and for you? Love displaces fear. All fear. Every fear. The loss or danger or bad that I anticipate doing me harm will have to make its way through the loving hands of my Good Shepherd.
I have been learning to trust, more and more, that with Jesus as my very Good Shepherd, I really am not going to find myself in a situation of want. This is the hopeful reality I am learning to be confident in.
When you think about this new year, what excites you? What makes you nervous? What even makes you fearful? I wonder if you can envision the loving presence of Jesus as a backdrop to those fearful situations you imagine ahead of you. What difference might that make in your thoughts and emotions now?
God does not usually address fear by removing what provokes fear in us. God usually addresses fear by promising his faithful, loving, protecting Presence with us in the midst of what we fear. God invites us to grow mature in the way we deal with our fears. What a gift. What an honor!