The Way Through Fear

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Deep dark woods of fear

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverbs 9:10

“Fear of the Lord”…strange words to use as the beginning of anything let alone wisdom. It gives me the picture of Snow White running through the woods to escape the evil queen. So how is fear the beginning of wisdom? There are lots of fears in life from a child’s fear of what is under the bed, to an older adult’s fear of dementia or cancer, with all sorts of fears in between that shape our choices. Proverbs is urging us to let this fear of the Lord push aside all other fears, and let God be the one to mold our lives. But what exactly does it mean to “fear the Lord?” These words do not exactly fill me with warm fuzzies.

Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
who finds great delight in his commands. Psalms 112:1

Fearing the Lord is to delight in doing His will, because when we do that we don’t have to worry about what is coming for we know the power of God will triumph as we follow Him. And what is His command for us?

Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22: 37-40

There you are––to fear God is to love God above everything else, and love your neighbor as yourself. That is the beginning of wisdom––the way through the dark woods of life.

Fog Along the Way

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Clouds rolling over the Blue Ridge Mountains.

There were times that the fog became so thick you could barely see the road, let alone knowing which way to go.

We have all had times when we wished we had taken a different direction. Looking back we can see how a right choice would have been so much better, but we just could not see far enough ahead.

Blessed are they whose ways are blameless,
who walk according to the law of the Lord.
Blessed are they who keep his statutes
and seek him with all their heart.
They do nothing wrong;
they walk in his ways. Psalm 119:1-3

God is all about helping us choose the right direction. We just have to ask.

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. John 16:13

What we receive is not only help in making the right choices going forward, but forgiveness for all our past wrong choices.

An Unexpected Turn

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Bend in the road of the Blue Ridge Parkway

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; Psalm 23:4

No matter how many unseen twists and turns life takes, God knows each one before hand and promises to go with us.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you. Psalm 139:7-12