Do Not Be Afraid

Friday Update: I’m feeling very well. I’m just finishing my 2nd 48-hour chemotherapy, and have the infusion pack unplugged this (Friday) afternoon. I have treatments scheduled every other week, stretching from noon Wednesday to noon on Friday. This treatment with the lower dosage resulted in a mild reaction rather than the days of sickness following the 1st treatment. They may have to up the dosage again next time as they surely wouldn’t want me to get off so easily. Thank you for your prayers, your love and support!                      

-Pastor Ron

“Do not be afraid.”

This past week, a KCC, I received a note from a KCC member in the 80’s. I had the privilege of personally discipling Frank, who became a leader in our Hawaii Kai church plant. They moved to the mainland in the early ’90’s. Here a paragraph from his note this week:

“Brother; May I also add that this is a trial also to everyone who knows you, and what you are enduring. With different levels of maturity in their faith they grapple with things like; “Why is God allowing this?” or, “Why Ron??!” More than a few, I suspect, are “angry” about it; not quite understanding God’s molding style, even as they think they do.  His great plan is one of Providence, building them to perfection in the way that He divinely does. (Isa. 55;8). So the trial IS the way and we will grow from it. There is the joy for them if they will see it!”                   –Frank Naahielua

Frank sparked my thinking to realize each of you will process and respond to my cancer, and to your own affliction, in a different way. That way will depend on your knowledge and understanding of the truths set forth in God’s Word that pertain to suffering and your relationship to God. When you see Him as a distant, vengeful God, you’ll recoil in fear and anger. When you see Him as the Lover of your soul, your Savior and Friend, when you see Him as your compassionate Heavenly Father, you’ll run to Him and find peace, even joy along the road of suffering.

Neither Dee nor I have any anger toward God for this affliction. We didn’t ask, “Why me?” Just as valid a question would be, “Why not me?” Jesus and the New Testament writers promised we would have trials in this fallen world. He also invited us to come to Him for rest (Matthew 11:28-30), promises not to leave us and tells us not to be afraid.

Time and again in Scripture and the Gospels, the Lord tells His followers, “Do not be afraid.” When a loving parent says this to a fearful child, fear dissipates if that child trusts the promise and protection of his/her parent. In each instance where the Lord says “Do not be afraid”, there was a reason to fear, a significant threat or challenge. But when He showed up gave this command, the disciples trusting in His promise and protection found their fear replaced by trust. In my affliction, and in yours, Jesus has just arrived and is saying to us, “Do not be afraid.” Believe Him. Trust in His promise and His protection.  Let’s live this day not in fear, but by faith!    

Grace to You,
Pastor Ron