I am not afraid

Do you have a fear? Last year I saw a few people on social media answering quizzes about themselves ‘just for a bit of fun’ – I considered giving it a go. But one of the questions was what are your fears. I couldn’t think of anything. That sounds really big headed but I really don’t think there is anything. There are things I don’t like – I don’t like spiders, but I definitely wouldn’t say I’m afraid of them. I love scary rides at theme parks, and I laugh through horror movies.

The more I think about it, I guess I’m not afraid of specific things, but I do worry about upsetting people, letting down people, and what people think of me.

I have worries. I imagine we all do. All of our worries are going to be different. But we all have them.

This week is our year 11s last week before they start their GCSE exams, and for some it’s going to be their last week in lessons at Archbishop’s. They are going to be worried about exams, but possibly also anxious about how life is going to change for them after 5 years at the school. New challenges ahead of them. For the year 8s some of them might be anxious about going away from home for the first time when they go to France.

I think I’ve made the point, we ALL have worries. BUT part of our Easter identity is that we can say “I am not afraid”. In fact our thought for the week shows that it is actually a commandment! In Joshua 1:9 it says “have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged; for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go”.

The commandment seems quite harsh; after all, we have already realised that we all have fears and worries – how can we not? But the verse also gives us an answer – we don’t need to be afraid because the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Therefore, we are never alone, there is always someone holding our hand, walking with us, giving us the strength when we don’t feel we have it.

A few years ago when I was having anxieties a friend gave me something to go on my desk that says “let go and let God”. This has been the reminder I have needed regularly. I still come across issues, things that I worry about, but I try to hand it over to God. This doesn’t mean I give the job to God and use that as an excuse not to do it. But it does mean that when things start getting on top of me I go to God and ask for help. I ask God to walk with me through it. That might mean that God provides someone to walk alongside me, or that I suddenly get inspiration for how to get through it, or it might even mean that I have a good cry on God. But by acknowledging that there is something worrying me, I’m suddenly not dealing with it on my own. And sometimes that knowledge is enough.

So… as we approach the final term of the school year with changes ahead for us all, may we all let go and let God. Remembering we don’t need to be anxious because God is with us wherever we go.

Challenge: is there anything you are worried about that is taking over, that you need to hand over to God and ask him to walk with you?

Prayer: father God, we thank you that you have promised to always be with us, which means we do not need to be anxious or try to do anything in our own strength. Help us all to remember this promise, and to let you help us. Amen

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