Going on this journey of finding the Bible talk about being free from fear, not being afraid, not fearing something or someone, has been a tough one. There are many days I don’t feel like writing anything, because who honestly reads this? But then there is the other side, where I want to be a man of my word. I semi-publicly committed to going through this for 365 blog posts. I have rarely committed to doing anything for that length of time, let alone writing that many blog posts. That is more pages than a full-length book. But, here we are, on day 26 writing a post about doing it anyway! So, let’s do it, and let’s keep going with this.
The majority, in fact maybe all, of the posts I’ve done in the first 25 days have had to do with not fearing, not being afraid, not being frightened, etc. There is a pretty common theme. But, today’s passage from Nehemiah 2:2 presents a slightly different message. Here is Nehemiah 2:1-5:
During the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was set before him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had never been sad in his presence, so the king said to me, “Why are you sad, when you aren’t sick? This is nothing but depression.” I was overwhelmed with fear and replied to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should I not be sad when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins and its gates have been destroyed by fire?” Then the king asked me, “What is your request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven and answered the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor with you, send me to Judah and to the city where my ancestors are buried, so that I may rebuild it.”
Nehemiah was overwhelmed with fear! The key here is that Nehemiah was overwhelmed with fear, but he was not made inactive by fear. Nehemiah wasn’t so overwhelmed that he was paralyzed. Nehemiah was so overwhelmed with fear that he had to pray to God at the same time that he responded to the king’s questions!
Nehemiah is overwhelmed with fear, yet he continues saying what he needed to say. He was afraid, but he acted anyway. He could have kept his mouth shut, but he opened it and talked anyway. He did it anyway, no matter the consequence. The king could have had him killed for being sad in his presence, but Nehemiah, in his fear, continued on anyway and trusted God.
Where are you overwhelmed with fear? One of the pieces of advice we can take from this passage I think is this:
When you are afraid, trust God. When you are overwhelmed, trust God. When you are in over your head, trust God. When you don’t know what to do, trust God. The message is to trust God. If you are following Him, living out His Word, living out a personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ, then you have nothing to fear.
But, when you encounter fear, turn it over to God. Don’t just stop there, but continue on. Trust God and keep moving forward in spite of your fear.