“Be not afraid, only believe.”
Mark 5:36b, KJV
When my family returned from the mission field we lived for a year and a half with my grandmother in her recently completed duplex. My “room” was the open end of her unfinished basement where she had put a bed and dresser. A nine year-old boy can imagine all kinds of things in an environment like that when the lights go out. When the sounds and imaginary sights threatened to make me want to run up the stairs and burst into my parents’ bedroom, I would glance up at the wall and see a small plaque that my grandmother had knowingly placed there. It was a simple Bible verse: “Be not afraid, only believe.” That little plaque never failed to give me just the comfort I needed to calm my nerves.
Our fears may not be the same ones that frightened a little boy but they are just as real. The words of that verse proclaim that everything will be all right when we place our confidence in the living God. In Psalm 23, the Father is our Shepherd. In Matthew 6, Jesus reminds us not to worry or fear; He tells us that we are most important. The Father’s care and concern for the well-being of his children is infinitely great. Yet, we still worry. All around us we find tangible reasons to fear. For the Christian, fear and worry are sin. Fear reveals a lack of trust. It signals an improper understanding of the nature of God’s relationship to us as revealed in His Word.
When the great flood of 1993 hit the Mississippi valley, a picture was published in the newspapers. It showed a man on the roof of his house which was surrounded by water. Protected by a wall of sandbags, the house was still dry. With the remaining sandbags he formed the two words “NO FEAR” across his rooftop. It was testimony to his confidence that despite evidence to the contrary all would be well.
QUESTION: Our sandbag message is the truth of that little plaque on my grandmother’s wall. “Be not afraid, only believe.” Do you have confidence in that truth?