Lord, when you speak, I pray that I would listen.
55 I called on your name, Lord,
from the depths of the pit.
56 You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears
to my cry for relief.”
57 You came near when I called you,
and you said, “Do not fear.” (Lamentations 3:55-57, NIV, emphasis added)
The passages that mention fear stand out to me, and not because I’m facing an acute, frightening situation, but mostly because the Lord speaks here. And he says, “Do not fear.” When I immerse myself in the words of today’s scriptures and read of the details in each chapter, the details speak of big, scary things (that were happening or could happen).
He said to me, “Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak to you.” 2 As he spoke, the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet, and I heard him speaking to me.
3 He said: “Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have been in revolt against me to this very day. 4 The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says.’ 5 And whether they listen or fail to listen—for they are a rebellious people—they will know that a prophet has been among them. 6 And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words. Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or be terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people. 7 You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious. 8 But you, son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not rebel like that rebellious people; open your mouth and eat what I give you.” (Ezekiel 2:1-8, NIV, emphasis added)
Lord, sometimes you save (us) from out of the pit, and sometimes you send (us) into the battle (or big, scary situations). May I always listen for your voice. When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? (Psalm 56:3-4, NIV)