advent reflection ~ day 15

On that day, it shall be said in Jerusalem, Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged. The Lord your God is in your midst. ~ Zephaniah 3:14

Bible copy

Yesterday morning, as I came out of my home, I saw a coyote. He was sauntering back and forth in front of my driveway. At first, I thought it was a dog until I noticed the thick fur and bushy tail. Fear gripped me.   Did coyotes attack humans? I slowly backed up towards my door and slipped back into my home.

In the light of my dining room, I immediately started googling articles about the wild animals. I discovered that the diet of a coyote consists of mice and squirrels and that they rarely attack people. One article gave some guidelines about how to avoid confrontation with a coyote, like throwing an object or shouting in a loud, authoritative voice. One naturalist suggested carrying a squirt gun filled with vinegar!

I now have a healthy respect for coyotes but I’m not scared of them. I have all the information I need to protect myself.

In the readings for today, we are told: Fear not!

This is sometimes easier said than done.

For many of us, fear saunters through our thoughts and keeps us awake at night. We worry about finances, the future, our children, our jobs, our health; the list goes on and on.

But God has provided a number of ways to confront our fears.

Through prayer, we are equipped to attack the forces of darkness. If we read the Bible regularly, His word empowers us. When we receive Jesus in bread and wine, our worries no longer have power.

On this third Sunday in Advent, have no fear. Your protection plan is in place. The Lord your God, is in your midst.

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Nancy Jo Sullivan

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Nancy Jo Sullivan is an inspirational author and speaker. She has published with Random House, Guideposts, Readers Digest, and the Huffington Post. Her newest book, Small Mercies, was recently released by Loyola Press. In the book, she writes about God’s presence in motherhood, family, and love. Through poignant reflections, she recalls how she found God even in her darkest moments, especially in the months that followed the death of her daughter with Down’s syndrome. She reminds the reader that God is present in “every mess, burden, and blessing.” The mother of two grown daughters, Nancy Jo resides in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She loves hanging out with her daughters, teaching writing classes to kids with special needs, jogging, making spinach smoothies, and of course, writing about her imperfect life.

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