Archive for July 25th, 2006

What Was I Scared Of?

Tuesday, July 25th, 2006

Please read 1 Samuel 17:1-16 (NRSV) (The Message) out loud if possible.

As you read, consider these questions: What might God be saying to me in this passage? What jumps out at me? At the end of the reading, try to summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two before reading on.

My thoughts on this passage (Tammy Mills):

In Dr Seuss’ great story, What Was I Scared Of? (which was recently read in our home, every night, for at least six months!) the narrator encounters a pair of “pale, green, pants with nobody inside them.” These pants are unique — they can stand upright, they can walk and even run and cry — yet there is no one inside of them. Pretty freaky! The narrator becomes, understandably, very afraid of these strange, pale, green pants. So afraid, that he begins to alter his life, based on his fear of the pale green pants.

I could say I didn’t like reading this book every night for the obvious repetition issues, but the real reason I cringed when this book was picked, was because it hit a little too close to home for me. As I would read the story, I would feel my heart beat quicken as I thought about all of the “pale green pants” — fears — in my life, which I allowed to direct my actions.

In our reading today we find the Israelites encounter a very large “pale green pants” called Goliath. When the giant Goliath makes his challenge to the Israelite army they fall back and are paralyzed by their fear. Verse 16 says “they were terrified and lost all hope.” For 40 days the giant continues to challenge the Israelites and for 40 days they are terrified and believe they are without hope. Fear of the giant becomes their leader. Their fear seems to cause them to forget that God has been with them in the past and with God on their side, they have faced down bigger enemies than Goliath!

In my journey I am often like these Israelites. A “Goliath” will rise up and I will let my fears begin to control my life and my actions. I so easily forget that with God on my side there is no fear I can’t face. I forget “that perfect love casts out fear.”

Today, if I discover “pale green pants” or if a Goliath steps into my path, I will ask God to remind my heart that I don’t have to let fear rule my life. I can invite God’s perfect love to either remove my fear or help me to face it. Another great writer once said, “Courage is prayed over fear”. I will try to remember to pray over my fears and keep moving on in the direction of God’s call in my life.

Thought for the day: In what area of my life is fear in control? Are there “pale green pants” or a “Goliath” that I am running from? God help me to stop running and trust my fears to your keeping.

Today, let’s join together in prayer for: The Mowing and Grounds Team here at Jesus MCC, who keep the outdoor areas looking so nice. Thank God for their hard work and dedication!

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. Use the item above as a starting point, or consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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