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October 27, 2021 -- "I Am with You"

Matthew ends his Gospel with these precious words: “And remember, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” What comfort we get when we embrace this promise of God’s holy presence in our lives, always. And how frightening life can be when we forget this.

About six months ago I had a dream. I was in a forest. The colors were brilliant and the surroundings surreal. All of a sudden a strange monster, came up over the hill. When it saw me, it let out a roar, which sent me running. Although this monster didn’t chase me, I couldn’t stop running and inside I was filled with fear. I kept running not knowing where I was going. When I finally stopped to catch my breath, I saw that although I had escaped the monster, the surroundings were the same. This fear sent me running again – to who knows where, but fear was telling me I was in danger and I needed to get away.

During this run, I suddenly found myself standing in front of Jesus. He asked me, “Are you frightened?”

“Petrified,” I replied.

“Come,” Jesus said.

I followed him.

I saw we were moving deeper and deeper into the darkness of this woodland, the surroundings became much more frightening than what I had already experienced. During this walk with Jesus, I saw other monsters, and at the very end of the journey, Jesus led me through the valley of death which was filled with chaos and frightening images.

Once we made it through all that, we came into a place of peace and of bright sun. Jesus then asked me, “Dan, were you afraid during our journey?” I thought about it and was surprised to say, “No, I wasn’t.”

“Why not?” asked Jesus.

“Because you were with me.”

Jesus gazed at me and after a minute of silence he began to smile. It was at that moment that the light bulb in my brain went off, and I came to understand what Jesus was telling me: If Jesus is with me, I have nothing to fear.”

When I woke up that morning I replayed this dream in my mind and concluded once again: if Jesus is with us, we have nothing to fear – nothing at all. It was such a freeing moment for me.

Just think about it: if Jesus is with us -- and he promises to be -- then we don’t have to be frightened by anything in this world. We are free to live and journey in the peace of God’s security.

I challenge you to memorize that last very from Matthew and once in your head, let it flow into your heart, and after that, let it guide your legs throughout the rest of your journey on earth.

Live fearlessly!

~ God bless, Dan

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