“There’s a statement,” Stan began, “in Matthew’s gospel about Jesus’s resurrection that I look at as being a summary of much of my life.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“It was Sunday morning,” Stan replied, “and two women named Mary went to where Jesus had been buried after His crucifixion on Friday. Matthew records that the stone to Jesus’ grave had been rolled away by an angel of the Lord.”
Continuing, Stan said, “When the two women approached, the angel is reported to have said, ‘Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified’.”
“What do you think that has to do with you?” I asked.
“Several things,” Stan replied. “First, there is the contrast in that for too long in my life I was not looking for Jesus. These two women were looking for Jesus; I was not.”
“Secondly,” he continued, “once I did start to look for Jesus, I was afraid.”
“Afraid of what?” I asked.
“Afraid that I was going to miss out on all of the worldly things I had come to enjoy. Afraid that I was going in a direction I didn’t understand. Afraid I wouldn’t measure up. Afraid other people would think I had gone goofy. All sorts of things.”
“But,” he continued, “I was greatly comforted by the voice of God that said the same thing as did the angel who spoke to the two women. There came a point in my life when I heard God’s voice say, ‘Do not be afraid; for I know you are looking for Jesus’.”
“And that comforted you?” I asked.
“Beyond what anyone who hasn’t been there can ever understand,” Stan replied. “Not only did all fear disappear, but it was replaced by an anticipation of receiving all that God had for me as I began the journey that will continue for as long as I am on this side of eternity.”
“Now,” Stan concluded, “the only fear I have is in being afraid I am going to miss out on something God has for me. As I am surrendered to the Holy Spirit’s leading in all that God has for me to be and to do, it is clear that there is nothing to fear!”
And the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified.” Matthew 28:5.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the comfort that comes from knowing that I will spend eternity with you when it is time. I thank you for showing me that your arms of comfort do away with any fear I might have on this side of eternity as I draw ever closer to you. And I thank you for working in me to overcome any and all fear about being yours completely. I confess that there are times when I fear what other people may think or say because I am committed to you and to what you have for me. Please forgive that foolish fear. And please help me in following your lead in not being afraid to be all you intend. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.