I woke up this morning to a dark and dreary view outside our dining room window. There had been a chance of snow forecast overnight so I was a little disappointed when it looked like we barely got a tinge of drizzle during the early morning hours! The gray skies didn’t do too much to send shivers of enthusiasm through me for the new day, but I am glad that my joy comes from what’s inside of me and is not dependent on the physical weather patterns!
After opening up all the blinds, brewing the coffee and getting everything else ready for my wife, I returned to our bedroom and immediately noticed that Piper was having a rough morning. As I dashed across the room to get to her side I was immediately met with a wave of fear and anger over the situation. But you know… it didn’t last long as I immediately remembered the angel’s words to the shepherds in that field near Bethlehem many years past.
From somewhere deep inside I clearly heard a commanding voice say to me: “STOP BEING AFRAID!” And with those words it was like someone tossed a cup of ice cold water in my face. For I quickly realized that I had “good tidings of great joy” (Luke 2:10 Wuest) that has a power working both in and for us that is FAR greater than any lie of “that ancient snake, named Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world…” Revelation 12:9 God’s Word ©)
And with that revelation there came an almost instant peace over the atmosphere in that room. Then as I knelt down at her side and began to calmly speak the Word of God along with my personal reassurances that everything was okay, she too began to respond to “God’s peace which goes beyond ANYTHING that we can imagine…” (Philippians 4:7 God’s Word ©) It was utterly amazing to see the rapid change in her. The hard jerks and shakes began to dissipate and by the time I had combed her hair and assisted her with her sweater and slippers and we sat at the breakfast table, she was calm and displayed a peaceful countenance about her face.
I imagine that this was similar to the atmosphere surrounding the field and the sheep that those shepherds were tending. To be fair, I probably would have also been a bit spooked if I was out in the middle of the night and a little on edge as I was protecting the sheep from wild animals when an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared at my side! But his command to “STOP BEING AFRAID” and his good tidings or good report of great joy concerning the beginning of Papa God’s plan of redemption quickly initiated calm into the situation.
I am finding it difficult to move on from the all-important command to “STOP BEING AFRAID” this Christmas Season. It is one of the most important lessons that I have been forced to learn throughout the journey for my wife’s health that we have been on for over nine years now! The hardest part was when I realized that I not only had to NOT be afraid for myself and my wife, but for others as well.
I am no longer moved by the fear that I see in some folks and hear in their voices when they are in my wife’s presence or when we communicate by text, emal or on the phone. Yes, she looks different. Yes, she can’t communicate right now like she used to… but she is still the same loving, kind, uplifting and spunky gal that she has always been. When I see Piper, I see her through the truth of God’s Word. I communicate and interact with her in line with what God’s opinion of her situation is. Therefore there is NO FEAR involved in it! And that is the picture that I attempt project to those who respond in fear.
Is it always easy… NO! Is it always immediate… Not Always… but rest assured that it always ends that way! I appreciate and have come to expect that small still voice inside of me to step in and correct me when I start to slip away from God’s opinion. Over the last nine plus years I have come to really HATE fear! It is almost like I can smell it before I see it or feel it!
So when I hear the angel telling the shepherds to “STOP BEING AFRAID” I choose to take it personally and find that I can only laugh at the Devil’s feeble attempts to catch me while I return to those “good tidings of great joy.” What do you say? Whose tidings are you going to accept this Christmas Season… and throughout the New Year ahead?
Remember one tiding comes from “that ancient snake, named Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world…” while the other comes from the One whose “joy is of such a nature that it shall pertain to all the people.” (Luke 2:10 Wuest)
Okay! Okay! It’s a No-Brainer! Go with the “good tidings of great joy” and spread the holiday cheer and His message of hope to everyone you see! Have a great week before Christmas and keep asking yourself… “How far am I expecting my report of His Good Tidings to extend this Christmas season?”