In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people…”Luke 2:8-10
How we would love to predict the future sometimes, to never be frightened of the unknown and have complete control over the unpredictable! I don’t think we are alone in feeling a little overwhelmed with a fear of the unknown. Sometimes we find our relatively ‘normal’ lives can be suddenly turned upside down and that loss of control can be extremely frightening.
Those shepherds had it sorted – just doing their job, no real stress, chatting to their flock, life ticking by… when suddenly everything they had known and held onto was challenged and new decisions were needed. They were about to embark a roller coaster of a journey, yet are intrigued – Good News? Hope for the future?
We all see life’s challenges differently, but I have a very simple outlook in life. Choose to look forwards – hope for a future that delivers loving relationships that are fulfilling both in human kind and with God; or choose to run… frightened by the unknown and become bogged down with all the challenges thrown at us – I think it would be easy for so many to ‘run scared’ at the moment!
But I choose hope. The constructs optimism and hope can have on our physical and mental health, are well documented in our house and I have been often asked: “How do you show such humour and hope when facing tricky times?” The answer is simple – I hand over my fears and draw strength from God: so, I need not really worry about those frightening ‘unknowns’. What will be, will be – because I am not in charge. God has the plan and I am just one tiny part of that complex journey. Do I get frightened when Luke and I constantly face oncology appointments? Of course – but actually we are so lucky. I don’t have to carry these fears alone, but instead can live in hope, smile, laugh and just ‘be’.
The ‘daily share’ is a hint each day for how you could share some hope in your life, today.
Being frightened sometimes is ok! Allowing God to hold our hand sometimes can provide the hope for security, love and comfort. So today, if you are frightened, why not ask God to hold your hand? Will you place your fears with God and live with optimism? Is there someone who needs their hand held – a young person who you have assumed is confident but is hiding daily fears behind bravado; someone in isolation; a friend who just needs an ear? You have choices in life. What will you choose today?
Helen is still standing, after teaching teenagers for 30yrs! Good humour and the young people have been the daily medicine that keeps her sane in the everchanging educational landscape. She loves spending time with family and friends, walking and nattering. She loves her music (especially musicals and worship songs) and can even be seen slowly jogging and playing stoolball to enjoy the fresh air.