Scary days of October surround us as many people celebrate Halloween. Should Christians celebrate this holiday? That is a topic for another blog.
However, many do participate in the Halloween traditions, e.g., haunted houses, creepy costumes, horror movies, spooky characters, mean tricks, jack-o-lanterns – okay, I know, you get the idea. Halloween is a time when we deliberately scare ourselves. Actually, it is kind of eerie. After all, other than Halloween scary days aren’t much fun. In fact they are SCARY and produce the three D’s – despair, dread, and dismay!
SCARY DAYS OF OCTOBER 2021
Honestly, I am feeling scared this October and it has nothing to do with Halloween. The pandemic, inflation, unrest in the world, the humanitarian crisis at the border, human trafficking, momentous drug problems, shortages of products – okay, once again, you get the idea. There is so much going on in our chaotic world right now that I am fearful of the future and even more afraid for the scary days ahead for my children and grandchildren. Many people say (myself included) “We are so divided. It has NEVER been this bad before.”
HOWEVER, LET’S GET REAL, SCARY DAYS ARE NOTHING NEW !
CONSIDER THESE BIBLICAL WOMEN’S CIRCUMSTANCES…
Don’t you think Eve was scared when God banished her from the garden? She was kicked out of Paradise into the unknown. Talk about a scary world! (Genesis 3)
I imagine Jochebed’s hands shook when she placed her son, Moses, in the papyrus basket she lovingly and carefully crafted. It was necessary to save his life from the Pharaoh’s edict to kill all newborn Hebrew baby boys, but she had no idea how this plan would turn out. (Exodus 1: 7-10, 22 & 2: 1-10)
Can you hear Rahab’s heart beating fast and furious when she helped the foreign spies escape to save herself and family? She was leaving all she knew to live in an unfamiliar culture among people who considered her kinsmen enemies. (Joshua 2: 1-16)
Although she was gracious and faithful, certainly, Jephthah’s daughter must have also been heartbroken and frightened when she discovered that her father had made a vow that threatened her very future. (Judges 11: 29-40)
Don’t you imagine, Queen Esther’s knees shook as she approached the unpredictable King Xerxes illegally? Was her mouth dry when she revealed her Jewish heritage? The Israelites were living in exile ruled by a king who was unstable and easily manipulated. The king had ordered the annihilation of the Jewish people. Talk about scary days! (Esther 4: 6-17)
Surely, a young girl in labor cried tears of distress when she heard the innkeeper’s ominous words: ‘there is no room at the inn.’ (Luke 2: 1-7)
Mournful Mary Magdalene most likely dreaded the future as she watched Joseph of Arimathea bury Jesus. Contemplating a frightening tomorrow without her Savior, did she fear the demons Jesus cast out would return? (Luke 8: 1-2, Matthew 27: 57-61 & 28:1)
Undoubtedly, Priscilla constantly looked over her shoulder as she and her husband traveled with Paul, who was hated by the Jewish leaders. This couple even saved Paul’s life! Her teaching about Jesus was bold in a time when it was dangerous to be a follower. (Acts 18: 18-28 & Romans 16:3 & 1 Corinthians 16:19)
NO, SCARY DAYS ARE NOTHING NEW!
Although scary days aren’t new, it feels like it when we are fearful. Hence, I binge watch the news, listen to people bloviate, and scour the internet, so I can justify my anxiety.
BUT AM I RIGHT TO DO SO?
Although my fears are real and understandable, so were the fears of the women listed above. Every one of them managed their fear with faith. Do I? Do You?
DESPITE THESE BIBLICAL WOMEN’S FRIGHTENING CIRCUMSTANCES…..
Eve knew she must OBEY God going forward. Therefore she had children and populated the world knowing God punished her, but didn’t leave her alone.
Jochebed STRAGETICALLY PLANNED so that she raised her son until he was weaned and then probably watched from a distance as Moses grew into a man. She knew God had great plans for him and she was certainly correct.
Rahab BELIEVED the ISRAELITE GOD WAS THE MOST POWEFUL. She knew FOLLOWING HIM was the only way to avoid complete destruction.
Jephthah’s daughter UNDERSTOOD THE HOLINESS OF GOD and knew a vow must be kept when made to the one and only Creator God.
Esther RECOGNIZED GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY realizing her position in a foreign palace was no accident. Therefore, despite her fears she accepted the mission.
Mary ACCEPTED GOD’S WILL knowing there was a reason for such a meager birthplace. Her scary days continued when she had to flee to Egypt to save Jesus’ life! Think the world was never as chaotic and scary as today? Think again. (Matthew 2: 13-18)
I picture Mary Magdalene keeping vigil at the tomb after the others left. We know she returned after the Sabbath. Why would she risk being associated with Jesus? Because she TRULY LOVED HER LORD.
Priscilla continued to EVANGELIZE despite the persecution and constant moving. After all, there were too many people who needed to hear the message.
WHO DO YOU WANT TO EMULATE?
Look to these great women of faith and follow their lead in handling our scary days. Instead of feeding our fears, turn to God as these Biblical women did in time of their fear. You can also check out these Bible verses or my blog post Courageous Faith for encouragement.
As always, comments are welcome, even encouraged. Let other readers know which Biblical woman’s bravery, faith, and perseverance you admire, or tell us how you handle anxiety. It might be helpful to other readers.