Thoughts From Toby

I saw one of those “You Might Be A 90’s Kid If You Remember These TV Shows” videos recently, and it definitely left me a bit nostalgic. One show in particular that left me reminiscing was “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” Each episode began with a group of kids gathered around a campfire and then launched into a “scary” story. I distinctly remember feeling a strange mix of fear and excitement as those stories unfolded.

Fear is something that we all deal with, to some degree or other. Often, our fears revolve around what might happen in the future. The “fear of the unknown” can be debilitating. And yet, in the Bible, God is constantly calling his people to “fear not.” I’ve heard it said that “do not be afraid” is found 365 times in the Bible - one for each day - which isn’t true (don’t believe everything you read on the internet!), but it is found frequently. The truth is that God reminds us that he is always with us, and that truth has the potential to squelch fear indefinitely.

So what does this mean for you? How does it impact us, as a church? Whatever fear you are facing, you can lean into the promise that God will be with you through it. Whatever “unknown” we face together, as a church, we can be sure that God is with us, every step of the way, and step out in faith.

But now, this is what the Lord says… “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior… Do not be afraid, for I am with you.”

Isaiah 43:1-3,5