The Far Side™ cartoon series, if you are not familiar with it, is a wonderful window into the uniquely humorous world of Gary Larson. Sometimes the humor is based upon the impossible, sometimes upon the ironic, and sometimes just deeply philosophical… all shared with a heavy dose of fun.
One such cartoon shows a lady home alone at night with her two pet dogs. One dog whispers to the other something like, “Watch this!” and he begins to growl at the closet door. Naturally, the point is that the lady will interpret the dog’s actions as meaning an attacker is hiding in her closet, just waiting to accost her.
Most Fear is Unfounded, but can be Debilitating
Fear can often be absolutely debilitating, especially the fear of something that might happen, but has not yet manifested. Most fear is unfounded. We read the signals of people around us, and misinterpret their signals to mean “danger is at the door!”
Sometimes their signals (like the dog) are given just to rattle other people. At times, we see signals of others who have seen signals of others who have misinterpreted the signals of others. It can become a chain reaction of unfounded chaotic explosions in the hearts of the masses.
“Do not call conspiracy everything this people calls a conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it.”
( Isaiah 8:12 )
Look to Reality, Not Conspiracy
When Jesus said, “Do not fear,” He wasn’t just providing us with a cheap license to ignore reality, to close our eyes so we won’t see the shadows of the monsters that crawl out of our closet when we turn the lights out. Quite the contrary, He was teaching us to look at the reality of His Lordship, His Kingship, and His Friendship in our lives and in the world. He was teaching us to avoid a common human shortfall, that of misreading the signals of others. He wants us to instead correctly read His signals.
“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
( John 16:33 )
Jesus’ Divine Peace Drives Out Our World-Fear
Fear and Peace do not reside together in the same heart. We will have fear or peace, depending upon what or Whom we are looking at. If we look at the world and all of its signals, fear will erupt in our hearts. If we look to the reality of Christ, His Peace overpowers our fear.
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
( John 14:27 )
I don’t know that Gary Larson quite had all of the above in mind when he penned the mentioned cartoon, but it certainly illustrates a powerful truth that we have in Christ.
Do not fear like the world fears. As real as their fear is, the object of their fear is much smaller than Christ and all of His authority and power. Christ has conquered the powers of the world, and He offers us His supernatural, reality-based Peace to take the place of our world-fears.
Peace be with you, my friends, as you too look to Jesus Christ.
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