by Doug Bing, Washington Conference president
The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?
I was terrified. I had every reason to be terrified.
The man who had me by the scruff of my neck had every intention to teach me a lesson that I would not forget. He was intensely and quietly telling me in my ear everything he had intended to do to me.
Not that I really can blame him.
You see he had a much younger sister that was in the Pathfinder club with me. On that particular day, we all gathered on the lawn in front of the Pathfinder director’s house as we prepared to go on a camp out.
As we listened to our instructions about the upcoming weekend, I soon was bored.
My very active mind pondered the surroundings. The tree above me was a kind of tree that produced all sorts of little bead like seeds. It didn’t take much imagination to figure out those little beads would be great missiles.
The plan was soon put into action.
Beads were harvested from the tree and the bombardment began. Most of the bombardment was aimed at this one young lady. Little did I realize that this young fellow Pathfinder’s much older brother was standing across the street observing this bombardment.
He, like me, was a man of action. Only his action was aimed at me.
Next thing I know he had me by the scruff of the neck as he propelled me back across the street and stood me up against a tree to give me the education that he had planned for me.
As my life flashed before me and I pondered how bruised up I was going to be on the campout, he continued to hold me up against the tree.
But in the midst of my terror and fear, I heard a thunderous voice crashing into my terrified thoughts. It was the voice of my father who also saw what was happening. It was a voice with a few of the most blessed words my young mind had heard.
That voice thundered as it shouted at my captor, “Let go of my son!!”
All of a sudden, the terror was gone. I straightened up a little taller. I peeked around the tree still in the grip of my captor but knowing that the voice that I heard was the voice of my father and he was on the way.
My captor was conflicted. His expression said: Should I whack this guy at least one good whack or just let him go?
But my father was there seemingly in a flash and the grip of my captor was gone. There with my father’s hand on my shoulder I was no longer terrified. I had dad in my corner.
My father is much older now. His health is not what it used to be. But he is still in my corner.
More important is that my Heavenly Father confronts that devil that stalks us all and tries to get his grip on us and whisper in our ears what he plans for us. The blessed words of Jesus echo through the universe and tell the devil to “Let go of my child.”
And with God as our stronghold, why should we be afraid?
During family worship time, do a Bible word search to identify at least 10 "Do not fear" Bible promises that encourage your family. Use your Bible app, an online search, or a Bible concordance. You may choose to have a joint or individual list of Bible promises. Write them down on plain or colorful paper - even sticky notes. Decorate your words with drawing illustrations and/or stickers. Post them on your fridge, mirror, or another place where you'll see the Bible reminders to not fear.
Lord, we choose to live with faith and not with fear. Take away the terrors in our lives. Protect us and defend us, Lord. Be our stronghold. Fill our minds with reminders of Your promises to not live in fear. Thank You, Lord, that You are our light and salvation. You've claimed the victory. Amen!