The phrase “Do Not be Afraid” reputedly appears some 365 time in the Bible–once for each day of the year. Could God be trying to tell us something?
Ever since Einstein’s day scientists have been trying to find a Unified Field, a framework that unifies all fundamental forces (gravity, electromagnetism, etc.). Last year the movie Interstellar dared to suggest (along with nearly every songwriter who ever lived) that love is the answer, the underlying framework of the universe, the Unified Field.
Could love literally “make the world go ‘round?” And what’s the connection between love and the Bible’s insistence that we not be afraid? According to I John 4:18, “Perfect love casts out fear.” In other words, fear, not hatred, is the opposite of love.
And yet when people have visions of God they always seem to fall on the ground in fear (Revelation 1:17). Apostles and disciples, prophets and seers. Doesn’t matter who. When they enter the presence of God, everyone acts like a leper: “Get away from me, I’m unclean!” (Isaiah 6:6; Luke 5:8)
Because we think we’re OK until we see what OK really looks like. Then we understand that we’re not even close. And the closer we get to God, the more we understand just how broken the world is and how broken we are (selfish, vindictive, vain—you know what I’m talking about).
So the solution is to avoid God, right?
Only if you want to live a lie. Until it kills you.
No. The solution is to dive into the black hole of fear, the gross realization that the world is broken and that we suck (my word, don’t look for it in the Bible) even more than that black hole does. Because God is there waiting for us.
He isn’t the problem, he’s the solution. He doesn’t cause our fear, we do. But, wait, “perfect love casts out fear.” And guess who has an exclusive franchise on perfect love.
When we humble ourselves before him and admit we suck, his response is, “Yeah, I know. But you know what, I also love you, and my love is the Unified Field that holds the whole universe together, so I’m pretty sure it can help you stop sucking. Seriously. Now get over and here and stop being afraid, ya knucklehead!” (James 4:10 and Micah 7:18-19 – very loosely paraphrased).
Be ye blest!