2 And it was told the house of David, saying: Syria is confederate with Ephraim. And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind.
3 Then said the Lord unto Isaiah: Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou and Shearjashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller’s field;
4 And say unto him: Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither be faint-hearted for the two tails of these smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria, and of the son of Remaliah.
How easily we let fear or anxiety take over our lives. We can waste enormous quantities of energy worrying about possible future events that never actually happen, energy which could have otherwise been put to productive use.
The main character in this drama is Ahaz, king of Judah. He and his people have learned that their neighbors to the north—the kingdoms of Israel and Syria—have become allies and intend to march against them. They are frightened at the prospect of having to fight two enemies at the same time. Isaiah delivers an important message to Ahaz: “Fear not, neither be faint-hearted.” Don’t be afraid of Rezin (the king of Syria), and by no means should you be afraid of Remaliah’s son, Pekah (who had become king of Israel via a coup.) Don’t panic; don’t be anxious; don’t waste your energy on this fear.
When I think about how I spend a typical day, I recognize that I spend too much time worrying about possible negative outcomes and too little time immersing myself in the activities of the day. When I am at my most productive (and my most happy), fear and worry are not part of my experience. I am totally focused on the positive outcomes I want to achieve, and I am thoroughly engaged in the activities which are moving me toward those outcomes.
I love the words of the Savior to his disciples on the boat after he calmed the wind and the waves: “Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?” (Mark 4:40, Calming the Tempest) I believe that giving in to our fears prevents us from unlocking the grace that comes to us as we act in faith.
Today, I will avoid spending time and energy on worry, fear, and anxiety, and will turn that energy to positive action.
What do you think we can do to overcome our fears and to avoid the trap of being “faint-hearted?”