On fear

In this morning’s Fruit of the Vine, Lori Elliott tells of a time she lost her 8-year-old son. He’d left the house while Lori was making dinner. She called emergency services. “I gave the 911 operator a description of Caleb and told her that he had autism and was non-verbal.” Lori wasn’t sure Caleb could tell someone his name or where he lived, and as soon as she was off the phone, Lori joined her husband in a frantic search: “Amboy is a town of about 350 people but at that moment it seemed enormous.”

In the second century Irenaeus of Lyon wrote of recapitulation, an atonement theory that holds we are saved precisely because Jesus has fully lived as human, effectively sanctifying all of human experience: “The Word remaining quiescent, that He might be capable of being tempted, dishonored, crucified, and of suffering death.” Irenaeus doesn’t get into every single aspect of being human, but I think it safe to assume that the fear Lori describes is a fear that Jesus understands.

Fear is powerful.

“As dusk turned to darkness, my heart began to race and I was having trouble breathing,” Lori writes. “I had never been so overcome with fear in my life.”

Fear is also universal. We can relate. I can relate. God can relate.

Lori suggests a prayer we can pray when we’re overcome by fear: “Dear Lord, when our fear becomes greater than our faith, help us to let go and trust in you.”

Because God understands.

Eric Muhr