I hope that everyone is well and coping with our current situation due to COVID-19 as best as we can. Hopefully before long we can start meeting back in the sanctuary again.
Today as I type this newsletter, I cannot escape the date: April 30th. Three years ago, today, my mother went home to be with the Lord. Much has changed since then. I lost an older brother on April 26th of the following year. We sold our childhood home and now someone else lives in ‘our house’. It has been completely remodeled on the inside and looks nothing as it did while I grew up there.
But in my mind, I have many memories of the things that my parents taught us as we lived in that home on Eufola Road. Every night before we went to bed, our parents helped us learn Scripture and we would all say it together just before we prayed. One verse stands out because I was very young when I learned it in VBS, and we quoted it over and over again until it stuck in our minds. Psalm 56:3 “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.”
Fear was not a prevalent attitude that was allowed in our home, and I do mean it was NOT allowed. Dad fought in both theaters of WW2 after being raised in Oxford Orphanage after his father died at age 7. Mom was one of nine children raised by a single, widowed mother. Both were children of The Great Depression. Their parents survived the Spanish Flu of 1918.
In our home you were taught to overcome fear and decisions were never based on it. King David didn’t say he was never afraid, he said in ‘what time I am afraid.’ David knew fear. Fear is a real emotion. But David never allowed fear to overcome his faith and trust in the God of Israel Who had delivered him from Goliath, the Philistines or the hand of Saul, just to name an obvious few.
I’m troubled by the fear that grips America. Americans have forgotten the awesome challenge of FDR when he reminded us that we have nothing to fear “but fear itself.” I’m very perplexed by the fear that I am seeing in God’s people today. Honestly, it makes me sad. It’s okay to be afraid but it’s never okay to allow fear to exceed your faith… never.
At 59 years of age, and when I begin to experience the pangs of fear coming on, I go back to that little bedroom of the home that I was raised in. I can clearly see it in my mind. I remember a faithful mother and father in there with me and my twin brother Tim quoting that VBS memory verse so we would learn it, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee.”
Maybe we need to remember that the verses that we learned at VBS weren’t ‘kids’ verses but Godly principles to live by.
Pastor Tom and Pat Campbell