God Is Close to You, So Do Not Fear
Jul 31, 2014 2567
By Des Ford, Founder
Alfred Tennyson, the most representative English poet of the nineteenth century, was devastated by the death of his closest friend, Arthur Hallam. But his grief and pain led to a rebirth of his poetry.
A biographer says: “Before the highest potency of the poet’s gift could come to Tennyson, there was need of a baptism of conflict and sorrow, to purify him from the mere love of art for art’s sake …” Years later, Tennyson wrote his elegy ‘In Memoriam’. It includes famous lines such as…
‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all …
One God, one law, one element,
And one far-off Divine event,
To which the whole creation moves.
Tennyson lived at the same time as Charles Darwin and was greatly troubled by the new theory of organic evolution with its view of the fierce, destructive struggle of nature. More recently, naturalists have pointed out that this ferocity is limited to an unrepresentative fraction of nature and most animal species enjoy their days.
I believe this truth has important bearing on our daily lives. Because we are human and fragile, we fear many things. But most lives are like nature – the terrible portions stand out so clearly to us because most of our days are not terrible. They are filled with good things.
Someone has said that Scripture tells us 365 times to ‘fear not’. One of my favourite verses is a most familiar line: “I will fear no evil, for thou art with me”. This is a wonderful anodyne for all our doubts and consternations.
Jesus said that our heavenly Father knows all our needs and counts the hairs of our heads. Thus he could admonish us: “Be not anxious for the morrow”.
The verses with which I often conclude a letter are Romans 8:28–39. We should all read them often. God is nearer than breathing and closer than hands and feet. He is by our pillow as we sleep, and walks with us through every day. Practise Philippians 4:4–7: Be anxious about nothing, prayerful about everything and thankful for anything. Alleluia!