by Jeff Sandstrom
December 11, 2015
We are all born with two fears: the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. Did you know that the Christmas story starts with fear? Two individuals are terrified when God speaks to them.
This couple—Zacharias and Elizabeth—were old (the Bible says that they were “advanced in years”). An angel appears to Zacharias, and he is terrified. The angel tells him that he and his wife are going to have a baby.
Understandably, Zacharias doubts the angel because he and Elizabeth are, in fact, “advanced in years.” Because of his unbelief, he is stricken with silence. He would be unable to speak until Elizabeth has the baby.
Six months later, the angel visits their distant relative: a little girl in a small agricultural village called Nazareth.
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be.
And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end. Mary, you have nothing to fear. God has a calling for you: You will become pregnant and give birth to a son and call his name Jesus."
Many of us have heard a similar story in pop culture.
A 1980’s science fiction film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger tells the story of a cyborg from the future that is sent back in time. His mission is to eliminate a young waitress who is destined give birth to a son who will grow up and lead humanity in a movement against the machines.
A soldier is also sent from the future to protect the waitress. He is a messenger who is sent to deliver the news that her unborn son is going to be the one to save the world.
When she is told this information, she says, “Are you sure you have the right person? Do I look like the mother of the future? I’m not tough or organized. I can’t even balance my checkbook.”
She says, “Look, I didn’t ask for this honor, and I don’t want it—ANY OF IT!”
She is afraid of her calling.
She eventually accepts this burden with glorious purpose.
Later her son (from the future) is quoted, “Thank you for your courage. Remember the future is not set. You must be stronger than you imagine you can be. You must survive, or I will never exist.”
God’s calling on your life can bring fear, whether it’s becoming a missionary overseas, starting a new job or picking up the phone to call an estranged loved one.
People who live in fear never have good stories, but we’re called to live a life worthy of good stories. When we don’t overcome fear to live a story-worthy life, we rob God of the glory that rightfully belongs to Him.
Are you living a life worth telling stories about?
May your love for God be stronger than your fear of the unknown.
May you live a life worth telling stories about.
May you accept your part in changing the world.
May you accept God’s calling on your life.