Friday, February 6, 2009
Fear and Faith (Heb13:1-8)
"The Lord is my helper,and I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?" How many of us would like to be able to pray this prayer with greater faith. However we are all very aware of what some can do to us. We have suffered in our lives. We have been hurt. Some have been abused, some neglected, some ignored. All bear their wounds, some well and others poorly, some hidden and some fully displayed for all to see. Many live in fear because of their wounds. Many do not trust anyone because of them. Yet today we are confronted with this prayer from Sacred Scripture. "The Lord is my helper,and I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?" Is it a false prayer when we continue to be hurt and continue to suffer? Is it false because people continue to harm us? Is it false because those who continue to harm us are those who should love us the most? The trouble we have with this prayer is that we often read it backwards. That is to say we begin at the end, many have harmed us. Then we work backwards to the middle and say we have a right to be afraid. Finally we get to the beginning and doubt or disbelieve the Truth that the Lord is our helper. Instead we ought to begin at the beginning, The Lord is my helper. Grounded in this truth we can live our lives free from all fears. What can anyone do to me? Our response is that regardless of what happens in our lives including the sufferings we experience, the Lord is with us; He is our help even in our suffering. Therefore we do not have to be afraid. His Presence calms all our fears. His help allows us to persevere even in difficult circumstances. If we are to grow in our spiritual lives we must be grounded in the Truth of this prayer today and stop looking for ways to dispute it.