top of page


I have been pretty much housebound for the past two months while I recover from knee replacement surgery. In spite of the frustrations of a slow recovery, God has provided me with many blessings along the way. My children and grandchildren have visited often, bringing love and flowers and food and diversion. Michael my dear husband has been a constant helper and encourager. My church family has been supportive with notes and food and many prayers. The weather has been lovely for sitting outside and practicing with my walker and my cane.

There has been lots of time for reading. One book in particular given to me by a dear friend, has enlarged my spiritual life during the inevitable times of darkness and spiritual exhaustion during the long recovery. Anne LaMotte’s book Dusk, Night, Dawn is a treasure to be read slowly, and meditated on page by page.

In one chapter that resonated deeply with me she says that her lifetime “governess” and constant companion has been... Dread.

I know what LaMotte is talking about. It is that continuing, under the radar fear that infects one’s mind and points always to whatever can go terribly wrong in any situation.

All of us who live on planet Earth currently face a lot of dread-inducing scenarios. We have the whole world heating up and democratic government threatening to unravel, contaminated land, food shortages, rising crime, school shootings and not enough room for immigrants fleeing from violence, just to name a few. Any and all of these can certainly stir up our hidden dread.

There are lots of personal things in most peoples’ lives to bring on a panic attack: a suspicious lump, the fall of the stock market, a new kind of COVID, a teenager out too late in the car, a relative reaching for another drink.

LaMotte says, “If dread is not still right there at my side, she’s there in the wings, humming her hymns, drumming her fingers, knowing there is always a place for her in my heart. Life will push her call button. Dread is there with any strange sound the car makes on the freeway, or when anyone I love has to do a blood test. She can work with any smell, news, or ache.”[p. 118]

Probably people in every age have suffered from this malady, and the Scriptures actually give us some good help in dealing with this human tendency. There are a whole bunch of messages in the New Testament that urge us to “Fear not! /Do not be afraid.” These words of encouragement are delivered by prophets, angel messengers, evangelists and Jesus himself.

The Angel Messengers told Mary “Do not be afraid,” then in turn told Joseph, and the shepherds, and Zechariah “Do not be afraid.”

Paul the apostle reminds Timothy, “God did not give us a spirit of fear but a spirit of power and love and self-control.” (I Tim 1.7)

The Risen Christ told the disciples “Do not be afraid.” (Mt 28.10)

Time and time again Jesus reminds the anxiety-prone disciples, “Do not be afraid.” At one point he says, “Fear not little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Lk 12.32)

The great Christian scholar N.T. Wright says that the words “Fear Not” (Greek Phobius) or “Do not be afraid” (Greek Deilos) and (Hebrew al Tirah) appear 365 times in the Bible. It is the most common command of God in the Scriptures. Check it out! It’s everywhere!

Our God knows we are weak and fearful people who shrink from new things, new ideas, and new directions. We fear any threat, major or minor to our safety and happiness and that of those we love. When we feel out of control, we sense danger.

So, God has given us these continuing reminders that when we feel we are not in control of the forces that shape our lives and our peace, that our loving God Is in control. So many reminders that our lives and our ultimate destiny are in God’s hands and God has promised peace and joy to those who trust in God’s plan for our lives and for our world.

Blessings and Peace to each of you,

Nancy Becker

Parish Associate

1 Comment

Oct 22, 2023

Thank you, Nancy

Love and prayers as you continue to recover. We miss your beautiful presence at the Y and look forward to your joining us in the future.

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
No tags yet.
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page