Fearing and Hoping Aren’t Mutually Exclusive

Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. (Lk. 2:10-11) – “The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.” O Little Town of Bethlehem

Lord Jesus, it remains one of those “stretches” in which fearing comes a bit easier than hoping; vexing is more naturally our default mode than trusting; and being on guard is just about as important as being on our knees.

In particular, I woke up thinking today of those for whom the normal challenging circumstances of life, the predictable disruptions, and the life-in-a-fallen-world realities are just harder. Things which normally, on a scale of 1 to 10, might register a 4 or 5, now feel like an 8 or 11—in a C-19 haunted world.

A friend had a C-section yesterday, another had his car break down on a highway, still another with 5 kids in online school had the Wi-Fi modem die. Christmas gatherings will be different this year—some families actually planning, dare I say it, “virtual Christmas.”

Jesus, we don’t want to be whiners, but worshippers. Being honest with you is always best. Not pretending is the way of the Gospel. Comparing our situations to the history of martyrs only adds guilt, not grace, to our situations. Thank you that fearing and hoping “meet and greet” in you; joy and weariness co-exist quite well in your presence. You have us, you hold us, you love us. So very Amen, and Hallelujah.