When we were in a Peru, we would often see a single farm animal, like a pig or goat or cow, tethered by a rope to a tree or stake. A person would be working, not too far away from the animal. As the worker tilled the soil or gathered the crop, the animal would graze on the land around them. Working around the animal looked peaceful and easy. And, i could never do it!
I am not an “animal person.” I am just not naturally comfortable around them. Even when someone introduces me to their dog or cat, I am on my guard while I am in their home. I don’t know why this is, it just is.
But, I am very comfortable doing other things.
I have a feeling that the shepherds were comfortable in their field, taking care of the herd assigned to them. And, they were incredibly frightened when the angel appeared to them to share that the Messiah had come. But, they got over their fear quickly as they ran to the stable. The excitement of the promise fulfilled did away with their fear.
I’ve read that the Bible says something like “fear not” 365 times, once for every day. And, I’ve read that the number is much lower. It really doesn’t matter to me – the Bible says it enough for me to get the point.
I want my excitement for God to drive away my fears. And, to do that, I must praise Him more and more. I need to spend more time and energy recognizing how the Creator of all heaven and earth saved me and that He loves me!
Friend, instead of fear, try wonder!
Jill (just one of God’s kids)
“That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them. (Luke 2:8-20)