Second Epilogue: A Night Of Wrestling With Fear

Second Epilogue: A Night Of Wrestling With Fear

This is the second epilogue and the fifth and final comic strip in this series. Because it has explored how fear can lead us to abandoning God or warping God’s image into what He is not, it seemed right to explore that one last time.

In “Are Things More Alike Than We Realize?” Nate says he is tired of being afraid of Roman soldiers and what they do to people. That’s why he just wants God to DO something. There were a lot of people who wanted Jesus to DO something about the Roman occupation of Israel. They wanted Him to be King of Israel, drive out the Romans, and restore peace and prosperity.

Have you ever been in a place where you just wanted God to DO something? Anything? Just as long as it changed the situation in some way? (Hopefully for the better since after all He is God and God is good and all of that?)

I can’t imagine what it would have been like growing up during that time period and seeing people so often beaten and tortured, hanging on crosses…alway wondering “Could that happen to me? Could I be next?”

And yet, those fearful questions have now become an American fear as our children are growing up with school mass shootings and wondering “Could that happen to me? Could I be next?” How are we dealing with that fear?

Maybe some of us are turning our backs on God and saying, “How can a loving God allow this to keep happening? I can’t believe in this God.”

Maybe some of us are warping God’s image by saying, “How can God NOT allow more school massacres? This is all because of how sinful the American society has become and if He does stop the shootings, then that would mean He approved of our sinful society.”

Neither is correct. I don’t have a way out though. Another DEAD END on the journey. But I don’t want to make this all about gun violence in schools because it’s just one example of many fears.

In all things pertaining to life, I believe, Real Life Jesus is our one true example, model, and guide. He faced fear one night in a garden called Gethsemane.

…and He knelt down and began to pray, saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground. (Luke 22:42-44 NASB)

We don’t have a complete record of what Jesus was thinking and feeling, but I’m fine with that. In this comic strip, Laser Eyes Jesus does present one possibility, but that was simply what came to my mind as I was putting it together visually. “What would saving the whole world look like?” The Cross of Jesus definitely looked like a DEAD END to at the time, didn’t it?

Actually I think it’s a good thing we don’t have that complete record of what Jesus was thinking and feeling in the Garden of Gethsemane since agony and fear and anguish are all deeply personal and individual. Not knowing completely prevents me or anyone else from turning this into “How To Conquer Fear In Three Easy Steps Just Like Jesus!” It encourages us to look to Jesus and hold fast to Jesus Himself, not what someone else has said about Jesus.

But I can say without a doubt Jesus is with you in your anxiety and fear. He will not leave you or forsake you. He will be there through it all with you. He may not DO anything like what you want Him to do. But He is not going to abandon you. He is not going to change His love for you.

For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15 NASB)

He has been there. He has faced the things that make us feel weak and helpless. He did not fail. He can help us do the same. This, I believe, is Real Life Jesus. Hold fast to Him.

Thanks for reading!

John

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