Sunday, December 12, 2010

Fear and Vindication

Fear is such a strange characteristic. None of us really want it. We want to be fearless, but no matter what we all experience some kind of fear. Hopefully one of those is a fear of God. A lot of the time I like to define "God fearing" as Job did and as I have referred to before in a previous post:

And he said to man,
"Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
and to turn away form evil is understanding."

-Job 28:28

Wisdom and understanding are good characteristics. But what about the fears that we have that are not of God, but are strictly human. I think of passages like Matthew 6:25-34. But how difficult is it to "not be anxious about your life" and "tomorrow." What life would be if we were able to take it one day at a time and truly be able to say, "Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."

A passage from Joel, which is less popular than that of Matthew and New Testament writings, expresses the same idea in a different way. I really like how the passage addresses fear from the perspective of creation. First the land, then animals, then humanity. I particularly think it is cool how that order of events parallels the creation story in Genesis 1.

"Fear not, O land:
be glad and rejoice,
for the LORD has done great things!
Fear not, you beasts of the field,
for the pastures of the wilderness are green;
the tree bears its fruit;
the fig tree and the vine give their full yield.
Be glad, O children of Zion,
and rejoice in the LORD your God,
for he has given the early rain for your vindication;
he has poured down for you
abundant rain,
the early and latter rain as before.

-Joel 2: 21-23

Two years ago, on a a trip to France and Spain over Christmas break, I wrote a poem to try to relate to the concept. Thanks to Mr. Frost for the rhyme pattern.

Southern French Landscape by Jennifer Young


Near the border of France and Spain,
Passing the countryside by train.
In a field sits a broken windmill,
Below it a barren water main.

The winter winds blow hard,
Shifting the rusty gears ajar.
Early spring breezes whirl soft,
But do not spin the battered blades far.

Up in the farmhouse loft,
The faithful farmer lays his head down soft.
The restless cattle are unaware,
There will be not water in the troth.

Thinking Mother Nature would show no shame,
To the east turned the farm's old vain.
Then the heavens poured out rain.
Then the heavens poured out rain.


  1. Hey thanks, it was the one in the review last fall! I've been trying to read your short story for a couple days now, but I still haven't had time. I'll get back to ya.