“Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
This was not an unusual route for him to take. He had walked these streets a hundred times from any number of places back to home. This time, however, was a little different. He normally did not take these trips alone. He also did not usually take these trips at night. Six blocks seemed like an eternity. He saw a shadow in every doorway and heard sounds he probably had not noticed before. Being alone on these streets at night made the fear rise up in him. It was not that the neighborhood was dangerous. It was not that the streets were particularly dark. The fear came when he realized that he would not have the comfort and security of having someone take that walk with him.
Life is quick to let us know that we do not have what it takes to make it all happen on our own. From our obvious dependence on others for survival as infants and children to our realization of all the things that we cannot accomplish independently as adults, it is clear that we are not self-sufficient. We need help to get through this life successfully. When we feel like we are on our own without that help, fear comes in and clouds our judgment. The rational person becomes desperate, and the inflated person comes face-to-face with the reality of self. Fear comes in when we are vulnerable, and we are vulnerable when we foolishly convince ourselves that we can take care of everything alone. However, the realization that we are insufficient within ourselves should drive us not to fear but to God.
Honesty would make us proclaim that we indeed are not sufficient. It makes us look to God for what we lack. Without God, we simply have a dearth of confidence and security, and that can be a scary thing. Fear wants us to recognize what we cannot do or be on our own, then cower in the corner or move with unwise motives. God wants us to recognize what we cannot do or be on our own, then let him fill the void. On our own we should be fearful because only destruction lies ahead. With God we can be only hopeful of life abundant. Father, thank You for filling in where we lack and giving us no reason to fear.