The Faith to Overcome
Fear is a very powerful emotion that can impact our lives in helpful and harmful ways. Fear is helpful in that it teaches us to avoid danger. Fear is harmful when it keeps us from new experiences and possibilities for growth. Fear can help or hinder. The recent shooting of Botham Shem Jean created a great deal of fear for me. It shook me to the core that this vibrant young man was not safe in his own home. It caused me to fear for the safety of my young adult children, nieces and nephews. I questioned my own safety. This incident has stirred racial tensions once again in the city of Dallas. A subject which creates fear on all sides. How are we to respond as people of faith? Some argue the church is not the place for this conversation. I beg to differ. I believe God calls and equips us to tackle these issues. However, we must lead with faith instead of fear. This is what it means to be the people of God. God is a God of justice and we must not be fearful of addressing issues of injustice. We must also be willing to listen to one another and not jump to conclusions or become defensive. This is usually an indication that we are afraid. As believers, we must not be led by fear. We are called to respond in faith. I had to take a step back and lean on my faith. Isaiah 41:10 says, “Don’t panic, I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.” We have the spiritual resources we need to speak the truth and to open our hearts to listen. Friends, we have an opportunity to do this on Wednesday September 19th at First UMC Garland. Dr. Michael Waters will speak on issues of race, faith and hope. Let’s not allow fear to have the last word. Join me and let’s confront our fears together. With faith, and with God’s help, we will overcome.