"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline" ~ 2 Timothy 1:7
Ever notice how coat racks are the scariest things in the dark, but as soon as you turn the light on they're just a pole holding sweaters?
It was a month ago to the day at our 3rd annual Christmas Lock In, an event where high school students come to the church and are literally locked in for 12 hours of no-sleep-Christmas fun. It was 3 in the morning. Foozeball, dodgeball, those big inflatable hamster spheres, bounce houses all dotted the lobby of the church with students playing or chatting underneath the ping pong table.The whole night had been a raging success, but the last time I had been awake at 3am was Christmas Lock In 2015, so I tried to find a quiet place to rest before the 4am Lip-Sync Contest that I would be hosting.
One of the rooms was set aside for 3am worship. High school students and members of the worship team brought their guitars and voices to lead students into worship. Worship is generally my favorite element of any church service. I normally feel so connected to God through song, but tonight my eyes could hardly stay open. However, I found a spot sitting in the back in this perfect napping nook against the wall. I settled in as they strummed their first notes. The whole scene was quite beautiful.
As I closed my eyes and listened to the first, second, and third songs, I knew I was desperate for sleep, but something was keeping me awake. I do not know whether it was my Starbucks from earlier or the hour of the night, but the floodgates opened and all my anxieties and uncertainties and deepest fears burst forth in prayer.
Why aren’t things happening?
Am I enough?
Will they ever happen?
What if it can’t happen?
What more should I do?
And there in response lilting through the air was the anthem to quell my fears:
I lean not on my own understanding. My life is in the hands of the Maker of Heaven.
Those words illuminated my heart with such truth and while they repeated over and over again, I couldn’t help but join in.
With each refrain, I quietly muttered/sang the words under my veil of hair and tears. The truth lit the darkest and most terrified parts of my heart, and I felt relief sweep over me. My fears were just coat racks masquerading as thieves in the night. But in the light of the Son, my fears seemed quite insignificant.
Christ always amazes me. He meets us in the midst of our darkness and will walk us through the valley of the shadows. He does not leave us or forsake us. He came, died, and rose again, so we would no longer have a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power and love and self-discipline.
So in this new year, in those moments when I feel afraid and my fears seem overwhelming, I will go to the Creator of light and turn the light on. His Word, His truth, is far greater than my fears.
No coat rack is more powerful than my Jesus.