Pause + Pray

Fear Not


In Luke 1:26–38, the angel Gabriel visits Mary. Before delivering the news that she would become pregnant, despite being a virgin and not yet married to Joseph, Gabriel prefaces the message by saying, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” Although the joy of Christmas is only days away, we may find ourselves consumed by fear and darkness—as the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic worsens, as we may find ourselves at odds with loved ones over politics, as the fevered consumerism of the holiday ever cheapens this sacred time.


I hate to admit it,
but I am afraid.
I hear the angel’s words,
but I’m still struggling.
The days are short on light,
it’s bleak and frigid outside,
and winter isn’t even
officially here until tomorrow. 

Help me
to open my heart, Lord,
to you and to your messenger’s
simple yet powerful words:
“Be not afraid.”


What do you fear most right now? First of all, can you do something about it? So many times, we fret needlessly over things that are truly out of our sphere of influence. Give some of those fears up to God. If it’s something you can do something about, map out a solution in a journal or on a calendar. Perhaps your Advent calendar is an inspiring resource at your disposal.

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