By Chaplain (Maj.) Clark Sneed
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,” John 1:1.
These words from the Gospel of John chase away my anxiety, which I confess has been abundant lately. They echo the opening words of the book of Genesis, “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.”
I don’t know exactly why they calm me. Perhaps it is because they reveal how God is always so utterly and wonderfully in control.
The Bible has a great deal to say about fear and anxiety, which nearly always ends with a call to trust in the creator, who, since the beginning of time, has never been surprised by current events. The warrior Joshua was burdened with the birth of a new nation. God told him, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go,” Joshua 1:9.
The prophet Jeremiah watched as this same nation was nearly destroyed by Babylonian captivity that would last decades. God comforted him, saying, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,” Jeremiah, 29:11.
Yet, it would be a mistake to apply these comforting promises as though they were a blank check. God does set conditions. He told Joshua to meditate on God’s law day and night so that he may prosper in all that he does. To Jeremiah, the Lord said, “And you will seek me, and find me, when you search for me with all your heart,” Jeremiah, 29:13.
In other words, the one who “in the beginning was…” calls us to reflect daily on his word and seek him in all that we think and do. Search for him in the midst of your anxiety and your fear. Rejoice with him in your joy and success. Grieve with him in your sorrow and loss. He calls you to this sacred fellowship because he has loved you dearly — from the beginning.
(Editor’s note: Sneed is the U.S. Army Engineer School regimental chaplain).