By Chris Martin
I arrived at college for my freshman year after an intense final year of high school, wrestling with the Lord about what I should do with my life. After the Lord convicted me of some selfish motives, I arrived on campus to pursue an English Education major with an intent to eventually teach high school English.
Toward the end of my freshman year, some friends called me out. They said, “We think the Lord is calling you to a life of vocational ministry and you’re just afraid to do it.” I told them they were right. I sensed it too, but I was afraid to change my major and commit to an unknown future. The Lord was calling me, and I was afraid.
In Judges 6, we see God calling Gideon to be a judge over God’s people amid a time of great sin and rebellion. Israel was enduring Midianite oppression because of their sin and rejection of God. When the “angel of the LORD” initially appeared to Gideon and said, “The LORD is with you, valiant warrior” (Judges 6:12), Gideon responded by saying, in short, “If God is with us, why are we being oppressed?” (v.13).
Later during their interaction, the angel of the Lord performed a miracle and Gideon’s eyes were opened to the reality that he was face-to-face with the angel of the Lord. One can’t really blame Gideon for being a bit afraid. Seeing Gideon’s fear, the Lord said to him, “Peace to you. Don’t be afraid, for you will not die” (v.23). Gideon built an altar at that place, and called it “The LORD Is Peace” (v.24). Imagine what Gideon felt like in that moment, experiencing such an interaction with God.
Have you ever been filled with fear because of something God has called you to do? The brokenness of the world so often strikes fear in our hearts, but sometimes God’s call to faithfully following Him can be scary, too. Whenever our hearts are filled with fear, we can lean on Him for peace. By the grace of God, we find our peace in the One who calls us to faithfulness. God is our peace. His call on our lives can sometimes be scary. But He is there, and He is good.