March 21, 2010
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
When I was a little boy, my bedroom was paneled with knotty pine.
In the twilight, with the room lights out and the summer sun sliding under the horizon, those knots and stained shapes took on all kinds of strange monster faces.
At least in the mind's eye of a four-year-old boy.
In the winter, when the snow reflected the moon's light, those shadows came alive. Today, I'm an old man, but those memories are still very much with me.
Just as vivid is the time when my father came to my bedside and asked, "Son, you don't have to be afraid since you've said your prayers. You do say your prayers at night, don't you?"
I assured him I did.
His next question was, "And you do say your prayers in the morning, too? Right?"
I replied, "No, Dad, I don't have to. I'm not scared in the morning."
Now that I've grown up, I realize talking to God is not a once-a-day experience. The loving Lord most certainly wants to hear from me when I'm scared, but He also wants me to check in when things are going smoothly.
It's a sad thing, but many people still think of God as a refuge only when they're in trouble.
They only speak to Him when their lives are filled with monster faces, terrific terrors, and they are frightened beyond imagination.
If you're one of them, may I -- from experience -- remind you that God hears you at such moments? But He wants to hear from you at other times, too -- even in the morning, even when you're not scared any more. Today, can I encourage you to talk to the Savior who gave His life so you might live and so you might not be afraid.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Precious Lord, thank You for being with me in times of joy as well as times of fear. Thank You that You care about my simplest needs and concerns. To know You are my Savior, my Friend, and always present reminds me I have nothing to fear. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries