Recently the news reported that Iowa City has had an unusually large number of crows flocking to the down-town outdoor mall shopping area. They seem to be attracted to the warmer city area as the weather gets colder. The birds are leaving a good bit of waste around and the city has a plan to scare them away. They put up hundreds of red and yellow balloons around the shopping area with black dots in the middle of the balloons. This appears to the crows as the eyes of an owl, the natural predator of crows. So far it has been working and many crows are staying away because of their fear of the deadly owls. We know, of course that they are just balloons and perhaps if a wise crow would bother to get close enough to one of those balloons they would figure out the same thing. But the fear factor is enough to keep the birds away and farmers have been doing this for years in their fields with “scarecrows.”
Fear is a big part of our life. No, we are not easily scared by balloons that look like owls and some of our fears are real and troublesome. Jesus in fact acknowledged the troubles of the world: “In life you will have tribulation.” (John 16:33). Many of the things we fear are not ever going to happen. Many of them appear to be terrible but they can be blessings in disguise or simply red and yellow balloons that we think will harm us. Worry and fear does not make it better or add a single day to your lifespan. (Matthew 6: 27).
We have a friend in Jesus. We can bring all of our fears and worries to Him. He is with us during all of our trials and will never forsake us. He says “be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33) and you can too as you trust in Him.
May your new year be free of fear and may you have the discernment of spirit to see fear for what it is: a bunch of red and yellow balloons designed to take your eyes off of Jesus.