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“My Light, My Staff, & My Stronghold”
by Mai-Anh Le
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A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When evildoers assail me, uttering slanders against me, my adversaries and foes, they shall stumble and fall. Though a host encamps against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arises against me, yet I will be confident. One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple. (Psalm 27:1-4)

Fear can quickly take hold of us all – at least, it is we who allow it to do so. Fear can be so great as to cripple us truly, physically, mentally, and spiritually. It can cripple us so much that it chains us to a constant point in time and years can pass by without us going forward. Psychologists call such states as anxiety, depression, or sometimes even worse. But what is all fear but a state of existence in pure darkness. When children are left in the dark they often become afraid of monsters, ghosts, and goblins. Once they are allowed into the light that fear instantly disappears. As adults however, our darkness can sometimes be much more complicated. The fear can be so deep routed that no matter night or day, whether we are alone or with friends its presence still haunts us. Sometimes it can even seem to consume us causing us to feel nothing more than despair. And the more we allow it to bind us, the more it will surely enslave us with its dark powers forcing us to forget that we have a weapon within us to fight back.

What is that weapon that we all posses? Not just Christians but all men who are willing to place their faith and obedience in the Lord our God. As a person who has gone through some trialed times I can say my fears have been plenty. I have experienced a time when I allowed the darkness in fear to choke the light out of me. That was the only time fear consumed me and also the only time when my heart and mind were furthest from God. For it is only when we are far from God that the powers of darkness has any control over us.
How many of us have experienced moments when it seems that the Lord is so very absent from our everyday life. We feel lost and abandoned, confused and lonely and we wonder where God is or why He left us. But the truth is, it is our very own distractions, worries, and fears during those times that make it seem like He is gone. But God being the one that created us, He can never be gone from our presence because He lives in us. His breath is what gives us life and His blood we share. The body of humanity is in essence the temple of God and in our heart is where He always dwells. Therefore, God can never wander away from us. Instead, it is us who go astray and wander from Him. And for whatever reasons, or distractions in our lives, we forget that He is forever present within us. We forget that we are in possession of such a powerful light, where if we just allowed our hearts to be open to the grace and Word of God that His light will come shinning out like a spear of lightning filling every corner of darkness with the spirit of light wiping all of evil's misery away.

The Lord is our light and our salvation and He has proven that by conquering death by rising to life and erasing our sins. He is our cloak and dagger, our shield, and iron vest. When we walk through life with our garment of God covering our bodies no evil can ever penetrate through this shield. No harm can come our way. But because of our flawed nature as humanity, we must also realize the line between light and darkness is also very thin. And we hold the control within our minds to either allow ourselves to walk on one side of the line or the other. God is always there for us but we must be willing to seek Him in our hours of need. We must recognize that we need Him during our times of despair and without Him there are no times of joy. God has given us a powerful weapon and a great source of energy to get through life but it is we who must learn how to access it and we can do that through humble prayer. Nothing is ever impossible with God, therefore, nothing is really ever impossible for us if we put our trust in God. So, the next time we find ourselves confronted by fear let remember to say, - Lord, help me to always want to seek You, know where to find You; for You are my Light and my Salvation. With You I shall fear no evil.
With you I shall not fear.

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