I must start out by saying that the basis of this entry was inspired by a Bible study my dad gave. While most of what I'm going to write is my own idea (though I'm sure many have thought of it before), it was sparked by something in the Bible study. Just so you know. :)
Most of us who have grown up in a Christian household (and even lots of people who haven't) know about Jesus walking on water. Just to refresh your memory if you don't remember the story, read Matthew 14:22-33.
There is a verse in there that could slip by practically unnoticed, if we let it. Matthew 14:27. Ironically, it's also become one of my favorite verses in the entire Bible.
"But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid."
See, the disciples had been freaking out when they saw someone walking on the water. They thought it must be a ghost, since we all know that humans can't walk on water *cough, cough.* But Jesus calls out to them, "Don't be scared! It's Me!"
Don't be scared! It's Me, Jesus! You don't have to be afraid!
And yet, when we're feeling guilty or ashamed or defeated or "too bad for God," don't we often tend to shrink away from Him - as though we could possibly remove ourselves from His Love and Presence?! I know that when I feel God's tap on my soul, my response is sometimes, "Oh, no! It's God! I don't deserve Him! I ought to hide from Him [as if!]." But He calls out over my stormy emotions, "Don't be afraid, Rachel, it's Me - God!"
I think that we, as humans, can often get it into our heads that God is terror-inducing. We interpret "fearing God" as, literally, being scared of Him. While it's true that His Presence is awe-inducing and deserves to be respected, He doesn't want us to try to hide from Him. When He embraces us, He doesn't want us to tremble with afraidness. Yes, His judgement is a thing to be entirely terrified of - but we, as believers and Christ-followers, don't have to be scared His judgement. Bottom line: we aren't supposed to be afraid of Him!
I don't really know how to end this well, honestly. But that's all I've got to say. I just wanted to share it with you guys because I think it's just such a beautiful, encouraging concept. So...like I said, I don't know how to end this particular entry. So I guess I'll end it with a smile and a phrase we all know well.
Stay strong. :)