But, immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, "Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.
I watched the movie, The Wizard of Oz, for the first time when I was three. Yes, even my mother admits to this day that "I was too young" and "she didn't know what she was thinking" when she allowed me to view it. The film certainly has had an impact on me, but not in the way you might imagine.
Shortly after seeing the movie, the nightmares begin. They aren't about wicked witches or flying monkeys or lions and tigers and bears. Oh, my, no! They involve something horrendously real and terribly violent.
I wake up screaming and crying in the middle of the night. Mom or Dad rush into my bedroom to comfort me. More often than not, I end up crawling in bed with them, assured this would ward off any more bad dreams that night.
The tornadoes are always chasing me, pursuing me, their black, tortuous funnels dipping and bowing as they approach. Their raging winds roar in my ears. My heart pounds wildly as it closes in, threatening to rip me off my feet and carry me, like poor Dorothy, away from my home. Just before this happens, I always wake up.
Trembling, sweating, weeping. Scared to death.
The nightmares follow me through my teen years and on into young adulthood. Thankfully, they lessen in frequency, but are still disturbing, distressing . . .
Enter the day I meet Jesus. Really meet Him for the first time. My faith walk with the Lord begins . . .
And, the nightmares? They virtually end. If and when they occur today, I am always watching the tornadoes spinning and twisting harmlessly from afar. They are always in retreat.
My fears can no longer chase me.
God chased them away.
How has your faith in the Lord calmed your fears?
Let us pray: We know, Father, that fear is the opposite of faith. Help us to take heart and give all our fears over to you. In your love and mercy, we need never be afraid. Amen.
Today, I am thankful for all four of my children.
Psalms 75, 76 or 23, 27
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