Fear is a normal feeling or response, especially when facing the unknown, or when there is a threat that carries with it a lot of uncertainties. But to remain in fear is not okay. It’s debilitating. It’s paralyzing.
Whatever is causing us to fear—a widespread disease, a major career move, migrating to a foreign land, getting out of our shell, going against the ‘flow’, etc.—could have the power to make us elicit a response of fear, anxiety, or faith.
What do we choose to do about it?
We Can Do What the Lord Directs
It is such a natural thing for us to move and make decisions according to our perceptions and emotions. Adhering to someone else’s direction almost always comes second.
Kapag natataranta tayo, ang dami-dami nating ginagawa na kung tutuusin, hindi naman talaga kailangan. In times when we no longer know what truly needs to be done, kapag nagawa na natin lahat ng akala natin kailangan nating gawin at may kulang pa rin, we have a choice. We can try to solve the issues and do things on our own efforts, or we can choose to turn to the Lord and be attentive to what He is going to say.
Just like what Abram did (in the First reading for the Second Sunday of Lent), God asked him to go to an unfamiliar place that is unknown to him. The journey may be full of uncertainties, but “Abram went as the Lord directed him.”. I hope, we all would choose to do the same.
There Will Be Sacrifices Along the Way—But It Will Be Worth It.
In the Second reading for the Second Sunday of Lent, we are reminded that we would be having to do some sacrifices as we mature and continue to grow and to do what is necessary. But we don’t have to do it with our own strength alone, but “with the strength that comes from God.”.
Why do we have to do some sacrifice? Because we learn and grow by doing it. When the Lord requires us to do something, even though it could be inconvenient or uncomfortable, we can trust that it could also be for our own good. Therefore, it is for the best. Pero syempre, depende pa rin sa’tin kung aangal tayo at hindi magtitiwala, o kung magpapaubaya tayo at papanatag.
Another purpose could be, for us to be able to eliminate what is unnecessary in order to focus on what is truly needed. It’s good to have choices but having too many choices can confuse us. It’s okay to have more, but simplicity could help us eliminate distractions.
Listen. Rise. Don’t Be Afraid.
When it comes to following and obeying the Lord in whatever it is that He has been prompting us to do, it could be daunting because, again, there will be a lot of uncertainties ahead. In my case for example, there is this calling that has been placed in my heart. Fulfilling and obeying His call would require me to leave everything behind.
When one of my friends asked me how things are going pertaining to that ‘call’, I told her about it, including what’s holding me back or delaying my move. And, she asked me, “So, what are you specifically worrying about?”. Para ‘kong natauhan do’n. Ano nga ba’ng inaalala ko? I asked myself.
Then, I felt that profound reminder in my heart right at that moment when I was sitting next to my friend. Oo nga pala, whatever it is that I will be leaving behind, God will take over. Since everyone and everything that I have is from Him, parang ibabalik ko lang naman din sa pangangalaga Niya lahat. He will surely take care of them.
God Knows What You Need to Remember When You Forget: His Call Still Stands
And this reminder was even strongly reinforced when I happened to watch a clip of Jesus calling Matthew to follow Him. Matthew, the tax collector, who had what many people could only dream of—money, stable job, protection–, gave up everything to follow Jesus. In the Bible series app called, “The Chosen”, even when Matthew’s Roman guard said to him, “Have you lost your mind?”, and, “You will regret this, Matthew.”, Matthew was not stopped and still continued to come with Jesus.
What I love about that scene is, Matthew asked Jesus “So, where are we going?” not at the moment when Jesus called him but after Matthew left his post and walked with Him away from his ‘tax collector’ booth and away from the Roman guard. It meant to show that Matthew is willing to go with Jesus wherever He wants to go. Another thing was Matthew brought with him his notebook and pen without thinking as he went out of his booth to come with Jesus, he asked Him, “should I return it?”, Jesus said something like, “No, you might find use for it.”. And of course, we knew how and what he used it for.
GOD ALWAYS SENDS REINFORCEMENT WHEN IT IS MOST NEEDED
In the Gospel for the Second Sunday of Lent, (Jesus’ agony in the garden and the Transfiguration) the Father sent Elijah and Moses to Jesus. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I would like to take this as though our dear friends coming to our side when we are in extreme agony–just when we need them the most, even just for a moment. And we knew for sure that it is our Heavenly Father who sent them.
When Peter, together with John and James, saw that Moses and Elijah are with Jesus, he initiated to build a tent for each of them. But the Father’s voice was heard, telling all of them to listen to His Son. And shortly after that, Moses and Elijah disappeared. So, hindi na pala kailangan nina Pedro mag build ng tents dahil hindi naman nagtagal doon yung dalawa.
This tells us that, sometimes, yung mga iniisip nating gawin lalo na kung hindi naman inutos ni Lord, hindi naman talaga kailangan. And most of the time, what we are to do is to listen. Hindi naman sa lahat ng pagkakataon we are told to build. Sometimes, we just have to be present with Jesus and to listen.
And I hope, kahit pa may maging dahilan para mag-alala at matakot, we will still choose to listen and obey when He tells us to, “Rise, and do not be afraid.”.
Love and prayers for you.
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