When… you are afraid
“After these things the Word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, ‘Do not be afraid Abram, I Am your shield.’” Genesis 15:1
“After these things.” Chapter 14 of the book of Genesis is the narrative of a time of conflict that engulfed the whole region from south to north to east. (Conflict in what we call the Middle East, imagine that.) Abram played a role in the rescue of his nephew Lot from a coalition of Kings to his north and east. (All the way to Iraq) Abram is blessed after his military victory by the king – priest of Salem. (Which later becomes Jerusalem.)
The victory and the blessing should have left Abram feeling pretty good about himself and his situation but the very first thing that happened in the narrative is a vision of God and an invitation not to “be afraid.” Isn’t that curious? Why would Abram be afraid? Why would he be nervous about anything? Isn’t victory a confirmation of his strength? Isn’t a blessing a sign that were doing pretty good? Why does the Lord need to comfort Abram?
+ Sometimes our victories leave us feeling empty.
+ Sometimes the good works of others seem like empty compliments.
+ Sometimes we’re anxious because no victory and no blessing can push back that feeling, “nothing lasts forever.”
+ Sometimes no matter how good things are we can’t escape that feeling “something is missing.”
Into this context God speaks a promise and an encouragement, “I Am your shield.” Can we trust that good word and promise? When… we are afraid can we take the step of faith to live like we trust and believe?