Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. [Matthew 10:29-31 ESV]
The fear that Jesus speaks to is real for those who he is sending out.
The disciples eventually were put to death for proclaiming the good news.
These risked all to proclaim Jesus' message.
To these, and us, Jesus speaks about trusting God with our very lives.
A tough message when persecution is at hand or when things seem out of control.
There is much to fear in life, yet Jesus tells us to "fear not".
To these disciples, and to us, Jesus speaks to how much we are loved and valued by God.
He tells us that God really knows us and even numbers our hair follicles.
God knows our capacity to believe when we are faced with fear laden circumstances.
Jesus indicates that when we stand up to fear we acknowledge God's presence in our lives.
When we give in to fear we lean into our heads rather than our hearts.
In reality, our fears evidence a trust in things seen rather than things unseen.
I think that fear is all about trusting our finite brains.
So often I find myself thinking about things that might happen.
In doing so I forget to trust the One who numbers the hairs on my head.
Fears of things that present imminent danger are rational and appropriate.
Yet fears become irrational when we trust the imaginations of our brains.
These fears seem to be sourced in thinking rather than trusting.
Lord, give me grace to trust you and not be afraid.
... this devotion is part of the Red Letters series. Click here to read more.