it is natural to feel fear towards God because of God’s greatness and holiness. but what is the first thing God says to abram in the passages under consideration? “do not be afraid, abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.:…..he believed the Lord and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.”
in the letter of james we are told that fear is the opposite of love, and that love conquers fear. Fear is based in distrust: fear says - you are an isolated being, separate from, and wary of, everyone and everything. fear tells us intimacy is at best not possible and at worse down right dangerous. if we listen to fear we lose the ability to engage in authentic relationships. yet if we listen to what God says to abram we can understand that God does not desire us to fear him, but to trust him, and as Jesus taught – to love God!
now what does it say to us that abram was 100 yrs old at the time of the birth of issac? one thing is that new beginnings can happen at any age. it also informs us to be patient and willing to wait in joyful expectation, and full acceptance, of the wisdom and faithfulness of God towards those who fear him. i say fear with the idea in mind that fear is our natural “feeling” before the greatness and mystery that is God. thus by nature all fear God, and since God is faithful to those who fear Him then all people are beloved of God, and God reaches out through Jesus to all humanity, calling all people to wholeness. if we trust and be patient – willing to wait and not just wait but to wait in joy, we would live our lives with less stress and greater faith in the knowledge of our belovedness.
in a world of instance “joys” where our needs and, more often then not, our mere desires, are satisfied with a click of a mouse or the touch of a computer screen or a quick run through the drive thru for the fast food; the ability, the benefit, and the desirability of waiting is not in vogue. it is hard to trust if you are not willing to wait, it is hard to live acceptance if you can not trust the process or the One guiding the process. the inability to wait is an expression of self-centeredness
it is the reason we as a people need to learn to be more reflective, to cherish quietude as an opportunity for review and renewal, to be still and know God. if we do we may find like Abram that God does not want us to be fearful, that God is our “shield” and our hope and our friend. Who is ever inviting us into relationship, with God and one another. It’s the reason we have families, to be born into relationship from the very start – for to be in relationship is the universal calling of humankind.
©2010 halley low