Encouragement for Today - June 7, 2005


June 7

Encouragement for Today


“Fear No Evil”

By Katherine R. Cottle, Graduate of She Speaks Conference


Key Verse:


Psalm 23:4, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me.” (NIV)





I received the friendly reminder card in the mail.  Georgia, our 12-year-old cat, required her rabies booster shot.  She enjoys going to the veterinarian about as much as I enjoy taking her.  However, since the county tends to frown heavily on a pet owner for not keeping her pets’ vaccinations up-to-date, we headed-off for our annual visit.


The frightened sounds of animals barking, yelping and screaming greeted us at the door.  Georgia immediately put her paws over her face and retreated to the back of her pet carrier.  All of the colorful cats nervously paced back and forth in their cages.  The dogs, dragging their owners by their leashes, bolted towards the door in a futile attempt for escape.  They all could sense that something uncomfortable, or even painful, was about to happen.


I looked over and saw one little dog among all the chaos, lying calmly beside her owner’s feet.  A leash was curiously absent from her neck.  Her owner, with his hand on her side, kept her at perfect peace.  Age had taken her sight and hearing long ago and now, she was unable to walk.  She was at the end of her life, walking through “the valley of the shadow of death.”  I gazed in amazement at the little dog’s complete trust in her owner’s care and control over her life.  She knew his touch – peace replaced fear.  He had proven himself over the years to be a faithful, loving owner.


My mind raced as I thought of my 89-year-old, fiercely independent Grammy.  She has recently fallen and broken her hip and her days of independent living are quickly ending.  She trusts her “owner” to take care of her as He has faithfully done all of her life.  He continues to meet her daily needs through the touch of His people that surround her, while He carries her through the “valley of the shadow of death.”


In this chaotic world, our lives may seem out of control.  While everyone else may be anxious and afraid, we can find peace in the knowledge that we have a loving and faithful “Owner.”  Our Owner proved His faithfulness and love by sacrificing Himself so that He could eternally care for us.  Whatever uncomfortable or even painful experiences we may face, God is in control.  He loves us.  He will not forsake us.  We must not allow fear to rob us of our peace.  Remember to be aware of His presence and focus on His touch.



My Prayer for Today:


Dear Lord, if trials tempt me to fear and I try to put my hands over my face and hide, please help me to focus on Your touch and remember that You are always by my side.



Application Steps:


At lunch today, write a thank you note to the Lord for one provision for which you are particularly grateful. Contact your home church to locate an elderly shut-in for whom you could perhaps pray or take a meal to this week.



Reflection Points:


Can fear and peace exist in the same person?


Can I actually experience the absence of fear?


What is the “peace that passes all understanding”?


How will I learn to trust myself in the One I cannot see?            



Power Verses: 


Isaiah 46:4,9, “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you.  I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. . . Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God and there is none like me.”  (NIV)


Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”  (NIV)


Psalm 145:13, “Your Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations.  The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made.”  (NIV)



Additional Resources:


Who Holds the Key to Your Heart, by Lysa TerKeurst



Intimate Moments with God, with Sharon Jaynes, contributor



Message of the Month Club



Originally published Tuesday, 07 June 2005.