March 3, 2011

overcome by fear

If you hang around the church long enough, eventually you will hear about (or experience for yourself) a mountain top experience. They are those rare moments when God seems like he is sitting right next to you. Often, despite their name, they don't happen on a mountain at all. Camps, beach trips, ski lodges, these are the usual homes for mountain top experiences. Something about being outside of your normal life makes it easier for God to touch deeply.

I guess a ski lodge would be on a mountain, though many are not at the top but the bottom, but I digress.

People love to share their mountain top experiences with everyone they meet back in the valley of life. They are good stories, filled with grace, forgiveness, and often a lot of tears.

What people don't share, at least in my experience, is the fear that is so often clouding the mountain top. We hear about it in the Transfiguration story. Peter, James and John are overcome by fear. They had seen the two giants of their faith. They had heard the very voice of God. And they were sore afraid.

I wonder why we don't talk more about the times we've been overcome by fear. Why don't we share how God brought us to a place of extreme vulnerability so that we could learn about his faithfulness. Why do we feel comfortable sharing the good with our brothers and sisters and not the bad. Both are a real part of life. Both are a part of following Jesus.

I want to rejoice when you rejoice, for sure. But I want to be with you in your fears. Comfort you in your sadness. Not just because one of my job descriptions is pastor, but because that should be what disciples do. We share the life of faith *all of it* together.

Don't be afraid to share your fear. If we are honest with ourselves, we've all been there before.

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