(Adapted from Sunday message, March 5, 2023)
Confidence. I always picture Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, dancing her way down the road to introduce herself as the Von Trapp family’s new governess. “I have confidence in confidence alone. Besides, which you see I have confidence in me!” she sings jauntily.
It doesn’t last long when faced with 7 children, a captain with a dog whistle, and a Nazi butler. Oh, and the frog. I can’t forget the frog in her pocket. Confidence is a fragile flower.
There’s another, far more durable confidence that comes with faith in Christ, when we know and trust the essential, inescapable, and most beautiful truth that God the Father sacrificed Jesus the Son to reconcile us to Himself.
Not too long ago, my daughter was on her way to New Mexico for a service learning trip with her college. She was studying water and water filtration systems. Two days into the trip, she came down with a nasty case of COVID. Into isolation, she went.
There was a point in time, later in the week, when I was not at all convinced that there was anyone in New Mexico looking out for her on the campus where she was staying, especially when the rest of her group was supposed to take off overnight for the Grand Canyon. I did not want her there by herself with her oxygen levels unsteady.
I called and started quizzing her. Who’s going to be there? What are their names? How close will they be? “So help me,” I muttered, ‘if they leave you alone there on the campus with a pile of pop tarts outside your door, there are a few choice phone calls I’m going to be placing to your college administration…” You get the idea. Crazy mama was coming out.
My daughter got quiet for a moment and told me she was sending me a screenshot.
It was from a woman named Eryn, a local woman who’d driven her to the hospital on Wednesday afternoon.
The texts from Eryn began, “You won’t be alone.” There was a long description of where she’d be and when, and finally, at the bottom of the text, “I’m here for you!” Exclamation point.
Okay. Crazy mama could breathe again.
I think that’s pretty close to the message God is trying to get through our thick heads in Romans 8:38-39 when Paul writes, “I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
You won’t be alone, God is saying. I’m here for you!
With that knowledge, with that reassurance, really, is there anything we can’t do? The answer, friends, is no. Exclamation point.