23 Nov The Test of our Values
When Jesus’ disciples saw Him walking to them over the stormy sea they were filled with horror thinking the specter of death was coming for them. Then above the roar of the wind they heard, “Take heart, it is I; have no fear.” Those words still echo in our ears. Paul wrote, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?”
After 9/11 we rushed to give away our liberty in exchange for safety. The very liberties paid for with the blood of patriots were signed away and today we have the specter of someone listening to our phone calls. Why have we done this? Because we forgot what Jesus said. We forgot what Paul said. Fear is worse than death. Death causes all thought to cease. But fear terrorizes us with unimaginable thoughts. The strength of our honor and our values are tested when faced with fear. The terrorists listened well to FDR when he said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” By the slaughter of hundreds they filled a billion with fear.
The bogeyman lives. He/she is real. But Jesus is stronger. Before his death by the people he was seeking to evangelize Jim Elliot wrote these famous words, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” And David wrote, “Yeah, though I walk through the valley of death I will fear no evil for thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”
We learned it as children let us remember it as adults.