As I paddled my rickety rowboat—I was on a rushing river somewhere—a couple of humungous alligators came up underneath, flipped me over, and started biting my feet.
I've always hated that about alligators.
It was 2:14 a.m. and thankfully only a dream. I tried going back to sleep, but the alligators were waiting to finish me off, so I turned on the TV and listened as four political commentators discussed the current crisis of the day.
The more they yipped at each other, the more I longed for the alligators eating my feet. At least they were only a figment of my subconscious, and the likelihood of me being in a rickety rowboat in a rushing river is, um, nonexistent.
But the news of the day—pick a crisis—is all too real. These are unsettling and scary times. Even our best leaders aren't sure what to do. Everybody's shouting and no one's listening and we, the people, are doing our best to patch the holes in our rickety rowboats with chewing gum and duct tape, while alligators lick their lips in anticipation of lunch.
This morning I woke up scared and flipped through the Bible, reading about the various times God told someone, "Do not be afraid."
In more than 60 different places in the Bible, God uses that phrase in one form or another. Sometimes he adds, "Do not be discouraged," "Do not tremble," "Do not be terrified."
God once told King Jehoshaphat as he faced three armies not to be afraid because "the battle is not yours, but God's." He told the prophet Ezekiel not to be afraid, even though he was surrounded by briers and thorns and he lived among scorpions.1