“Do not be afraid, O man highly esteemed,” he said. “Peace! Be strong now, be strong.” When he spoke to me I was strengthened and said, “Speak my lord, since you have given me strength.” NIV
As I work my way through the listings of the word, “fear” in my King James concordance, this is the next appearance of the phrase, “fear not.”
This verse is in the same chapter as one that I looked at a few days ago. I’m back in the story of Daniel. Daniel has been fasting and praying for three weeks, and, in response to his prayers, a vision has appeared. The vision tells Daniel in verse 14, “I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future.” NIV
I have always loved science fiction. I own all the episodes of the original Star Trek on DVD (they came in cute plastic boxes that look like tricorders). Sometimes on rainy or snowy days, my husband and I will watch several episodes in a row. I love that so many things from that show that seemed so far out of reach are now commonplace … microwaves, cell phones. I still find myself wishing for a transporter at times.
But, as much as I have always enjoyed dreaming about the future, and as much time as I have spent worrying about my own, I don’t think I would really want to know it. Last night, on the news, it was reported that scientists are very close to perfecting a test of your spinal fluid that will accurately predict whether you will develop Alzheimer’s Disease. I would not want to know that. I don’t think I could handle information about the future as gracefully as Joseph did when, for instance, he knew the drought was coming. I’m meant to live my life moment by moment … I don’t really want to know what’s coming next.
Daniel, too is overwhelmed. In verse 16, Daniel says, “I am overcome with anguish because of the vision, my lord, and I am helpless.” NIV
The response is fascinating to me. The Message translates it, “Don’t be afraid, friend. Peace. Everything is going to be all right. Take courage. Be strong.” MSG
God had a message for Daniel. He had a purpose for Daniel’s life. Daniel was to write his story and the story of his vision so that we would have it today to use as a roadmap. As intimidating as the task was for Daniel, he did not have to accomplish it alone. God was with him, reassuring him, bolstering him, preparing him for the tasks that were ahead.
As I face a future of uncertainty, that same God is there. He is the Alpha — He was there at the very beginning; and the Omega — He will be there until the very end. I can step into this day — whatever it will hold — and into the rest of my life with confidence. The confidence that is borne of being truly loved by the Master of the Universe. The One who gives me strength.
That’s what I will think about today.