Be Not Afraid

Have you ever been at the rock bottom, feeling like you are falling into a pit of despair and hopelessness? This could come from many things; problems with family, work, friends, or health. There are many things in this world that make us feel like we are drowning.

The woman in the first reading today can relate. Here we have a prophet begging her for food and water as she knows full well that her next meal will be her last. She has already prepared for the death of her and her son after they run out of flour and oil. Mixed with this turmoil and fear she was either racked with a distrust of God or the feeling that perhaps this was the Lord’s plan for her and she had come to accept it.

Either way, she had lost hope, and was already preparing for something that she did not know for sure would happen. I am reminded of the movie, “The Mist.” In this film, the main character gives up all hope and thinks he knows what is going to happen to the group of people that he befriends. He makes a decision that results in the deaths of all those present and just as it looks like the creatures are going to take him too, the clouds part and the army comes in and saves him.

The point here is that we have two scenarios where the subject of the story acts as if they have certainty about the future, but it turns out they have no idea what God has planned. The woman with little flour prepares for her death and is then saved. The man in the movie prepares for his death as well and is saved at the last second.

Wrought with heartache and suffering, I think our first response is to give in to doubt and fear and then make decisions based entirely on this fear. But the scriptures today are very clear, “Do not be afraid.” God knows our suffering and our hurt. He is there with us.

Ok stop for a second, you have heard it before, God is with us. Have you let it sink in? Here is the reality, God exists outside of time as we know it. Theologians say He is in what we call the eternal now. This means that every moment that has ever happened or will happen is present to God right now. It was the same at the cross. When Jesus gave His life, He took on all the pain, sin, hurt, despair, and fear of the entire world and experienced it as you and I do. Don’t forget that he was a human with real emotions and he experienced pain.

This should give us such great hope because Christ conquered it all on the cross. He stared your suffering in the face and overcame it so you could one day be in heaven with Him. Don’t let this be just another time that you hear that God cares. Take five minutes today and thank God for His love and ask Him to join you in your current suffering, after all, He already conquered it. Do not lose hope. Be not afraid. From all of us here at Diocesan, God Bless!

Tommy Shultz is a Solutions Evangelist for Diocesan. In that role, he is committed to coaching parishes and dioceses on authentic and effective Catholic communication. Tommy has a heart and a flair for inspiring people to live their faith every day. He has worked in various youth ministry, adult ministry, and diocesan roles. He has been a featured speaker at retreats and events across the country. His mission and drive have been especially inspired by St. John Paul II’s teachings. Tommy is blessed to be able to learn from the numerous parishes he visits and pass that experience on in his presentations. Contact him at