On that day, it shall be said in Jerusalem, Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged. The Lord your God is in your midst. ~ Zephaniah 3:14
Yesterday morning, as I came out of my home, I saw a coyote. He was sauntering back and forth in front of my driveway. At first, I thought it was a dog until I noticed the thick fur and bushy tail. Fear gripped me. Did coyotes attack humans? I slowly backed up towards my door and slipped back into my home.
In the light of my dining room, I immediately started googling articles about the wild animals. I discovered that the diet of a coyote consists of mice and squirrels and that they rarely attack people. One article gave some guidelines about how to avoid confrontation with a coyote, like throwing an object or shouting in a loud, authoritative voice. One naturalist suggested carrying a squirt gun filled with vinegar!
I now have a healthy respect for coyotes but I’m not scared of them. I have all the information I need to protect myself.
In the readings for today, we are told: Fear not!
This is sometimes easier said than done.
For many of us, fear saunters through our thoughts and keeps us awake at night. We worry about finances, the future, our children, our jobs, our health; the list goes on and on.
But God has provided a number of ways to confront our fears.
Through prayer, we are equipped to attack the forces of darkness. If we read the Bible regularly, His word empowers us. When we receive Jesus in bread and wine, our worries no longer have power.
On this third Sunday in Advent, have no fear. Your protection plan is in place. The Lord your God, is in your midst.