When I was about three or four-years-old, we lived on Goddard Road, on the north end of Detroit. We had two apple trees and a grapevine in the backyard, and another apple tree in the front.
My father had once told me never to eat the apples that had fallen to the ground because there may be a worm in them. To show me, he picked one up from the ground, so I could actually see a worm hole in it.
One morning, I bolted out the front door, down the gangway to the backyard and I saw this bright shiny red apple on the ground. I picked it up; looked it over; didn’t see a worm hole; brushed it off, (thinking daddy had to be wrong; I outsmarted him) and bit into it, and a big worm slid out of it at me; looking as big as a snake! I screamed and threw the apple down; and ran for my life, because I just knew this worm/snake was coming after me! He was mad that I had disturbed him!
I’m so glad I did not bite deeper into the apple. The worm apparently entered through the core or stem of the apple, so I saw no worm hole. So glad I did not bite the worm!
The Bible tells the story of how the prophet Elijah contested the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel (1st Kings 18: 21-39), and when God performed a great miracle through him to disprove the prophets of Baal, Elijah had them all killed. When King Ahab told the queen, Jezebel, what had happened, she sent word to Elijah that she was going to have him killed. Elijah then ran for his life to the extent that he ended up miles away, alone in the desert.
An angel ministered to him twice with food and drink to restore his strength. Then the Lord God spoke to Elijah asking, “Why are you here?” The inference being that after God had used Elijah to perform some of the greatest miracles ever recorded, why did he fear; why did he run?
I’ve learned that the Bible says, “Fear not,” 365 times – one for each day of the year! In this story about Elijah, we read where rest and nourishment are essential in combating despair and discouragement. I’ve learned not to make rash decisions when I am exhausted. As in my story about the worm, Elijah was running from someone who was not chasing him – he had only been threatened.
Elijah’s successor, named Elisha, said, “Fear not,” to his servant on the following account after the massive Syrian army surrounded him (2 Kings: 6:15-17 KJV): “[And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.]”
So, open your spiritual eyes and stop worrying! Mark Twain once said, “I am an old man and have known many troubles, but most of them never happened.”
This New Year, 2020, let’s not be like a fish out of water. Let’s get into and stay in the element of God’s grace of divine direction, protection and provision. If you believe and trust in the Lord, fear not! Be not dismayed…God will take care of you! God watches over His children.
Psalm 27 reads: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
Larry Buford is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer. Author of “Things Are Gettin’ Outta Hand” and Book To The Future” (Amazon). Email: [email protected]