And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
Fear is a prevailing emotion. With earthquakes, escalating gas prices, wars, and lackluster job security, people are just as afraid to live, as they are to die. When I was in junior high, number 72 for the Chicago Bears, William “Refrigerator” Perry was the greatest player alive. He was a big guy and I was a big guy - sort of. He was 6’2” and weighed 382 pounds, I was 4’9” and weighed around 110 pounds. Determined to use my weight to gain popularity and somehow discover my purpose, I joined the football team and made sure the coach gave me the number 72 jersey. My first day on the field, I was shocked to see how hard the other guys were running into each other.
I thought, how is that fun? I don’t like being hit and I for sure don’t want to hit anybody! Given all of my prior football experience, I was placed on the “B” team as a second string lineman. The day I was told to get in the game, I was elated. I ran to my position, stood with my legs shoulder length apart, bent my knees a little, then put my right hand down balanced on my thumb and fingers. The ball was hiked and this giant man-child ran over me like truck. I walked off the field, removed my pads and exclaimed “this is not for me - use someone better!” My coach came over to me and explained that pain and persistence are apart of the game. He also said that in the game each player is important.
The other team is going to attack at every opportunity and their goal is to get you to quit but players on and off the field are vital to victory. The coach made me put my pads back on and put me back in again. But, isn’t that what God does for us.
At our moment of desperation, He says just the right thing to remind us that even in our weak points he will provide the words that will give us the strength we need (2 Corinthians 12:9). I completed the game and the season more confident than ever. Although at first I thought my role was seemingly insignificant – I knew that if I didn’t do my part there would be no one to give the first string a break or to step in when needed.
As Christians, we must grasp the undeniable truth that God passionately cares about us – so much so that he counts every hair on our head – even the ones that won’t grow back. You are important, invaluable, and priceless. Even though people may act like bullies and attack your character to make you feel inferior, your value is not determined by their words. God labeled you with a price that could never be paid by man and your persistence through the pain will give you victory! Remove fear and replace it with the God given confidence that you can do ALL things through Him that gives you strength.