Is Fear En Vogue?

It seems as we don this season’s fashions, a new trend is afoot. It has gained wide popularity not just among the trendsetters, but nearly everyone these days is seen sporting “an abundance of caution.”

At first glance this seems wise and even prudent, but is caution just another name for worry or fear? Did David use an abundance of caution when he set out to meet Goliath? Did Mary weigh the pros and cons before she broke open her alabaster jar anointing Jesus before he entered Jerusalem?

In Matthew 6 Jesus tells us not worry about our lives – for who by worrying who can add a day or even an hour to their life? Are we allowing the worries of this life choke out the life God has poured into us? In my own paraphrase, I urge you not to let what could happen keep you from carrying out the daily assignments or divine appointments God has for you. Don’t let caution be an excuse for disengagement – for discontinuing the activities you enjoy or for not maintaining connection with people significant to you.

I wonder if believers in Nigeria remain in their homes as they consult growing trends and statistics of the numbers of believers captured and executed or churches burned. Do believers in China exhibit an abundance of caution as they decide whether to meet secretly with others, or do they wholeheartedly entrust themselves to God who knows exactly how many days He has given each of us? Are we being wise stewards of the time he has given if bury this time in fear of what could happen? Nothing that happens is a surprise to God. Nothing is outside of his protective power.

The psalmist in Psalm 91 recognized this declaring, “The Lord is alone is my refuge and place of safety, He is my God and I trust Him. He will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease… His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness nor the disaster that strikes at midday, He delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence… If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you. “

Instead of shrouding ourselves beneath an abundance of caution, we can boldly wear our shields of faith and cover our minds with our helmets of salvation. While these do not make us impervious to the evil and harm surrounding us, we are reminded not to fear that which can destroy the body but to take care to guard against that which can destroy our soul. Our Lord reminds us in John 16:33 that although this world is filled with tribulation, we take courage because He has overcome this world.

Photo by Jakub Novacek on

41 Wolves

I came across a fascinating article about Yellowstone National Park.  In 1995, forty-one wolves were re-introduced into the environment. Within a few years, many changes occurred. More beavers populated the streams and rivers. The waters were clearer. Flowers that had not been seen in many years appeared. A small number influenced a whole population.

I find encouragement in considering this. Just a few of us can change the world. Unfortunately, this this is frequently evidenced as darkness, evil, and disease multiply in this world. But we are the light! Our pinpricks of light can and will influence the darkness. Our acts of love, kindness, faithfulness, and truth cascade into areas we cannot imagine.

In social work, it is called the systems theory. If one element of the system changes, the whole system is impacted. I encourage you to be a world changer! The Lord God told Joshua, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified because I, the Lord am with you!”  Displaying courage and strength in the Lord during challenging times becomes similar to the 41 wolves. A small number of faithful believers, fully trusting in the Lord changes everything.

Image result for google images wolf