#FEARLESS365 is a yearlong study of God’s commandment to us to live without fear. For 365 days, we will focus on one scripture and volunteers from all over the world will share their personal thoughts and what God has shared with them on the specific verse. For more info… go here.
Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, took an oath to reassure them and their men. “Do not be afraid to serve the Babylonians ” he said. “Settle down in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will go well with you.
Jeremiah 40:9 NIV
The first three or four times I sat down to write about this Bible verse, I was wordless. I am not a Bible scholar by any means and I have no idea who Gedaliah, Ahikam, or Shaphan are – other than male relatives – or what they’re doing in Babylon. I tried reading Jeremiah chapter 40. I tried reading before and after chapter 40. After rewriting this assignment on my to-do list several times, I was ready to give up. I felt like I didn’t have what it took to participate in the #Fearless365 project, i.e., because I don’t measure up to other Christians who do know what the verse is about.
Today when I reviewed this assignment again (and to be honest, I was just looking for the contact email so I could let Nichole know I could not possibly participate), six words jumped out at me. “Do not be afraid to serve.”
I had an “a ha” moment.
Okay, so I don’t have to know everything about the verse before I can share something or serve God. It’s like the time on Christmas eve when our pastor had asked me if my family could do a reading. When we arrived at the church, I found out we were not only doing a reading, but also we were lighting all the advent candles, reciting an additional 10 verses of Luke, and leading the congregation in a prayer. Before our pastor asked if that was okay, I was assigning parts to my husband and three sons. I said yes before I knew about the additional parts.
Similarly, I can say yes to sharing my writing before I know how the story ends: I began blogging again without a clear vision of the big picture. For example, my blog is a work in progress, visually as well as content-wise. A colleague (who happens to be a pastor’s wife) told me that God gives gifts and can take them away if you do not use them, meaning “keep writing. Keep sharing your stories to uplift and inspire others.”
To me, “Do not be afraid to serve,” means “Say yes, and figure the rest out later.”
Caroline (Carlie) Poser is a writer and a mother of three boys who lives in Massachusetts.