Lent • Day 14

There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

Romans 8:1,2

Those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

Romans 8:14,15

33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?  37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither 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.

Romans 8:33-35, 37-39

Imagine a typical night in my line of work. The arena is packed, lights swirling, fog machines puffing, amplifiers roaring, a great crowd singing along with their favorite artist. I’m standing behind the stage, in the shadows, praying.

I’m not a musician anymore. My name isn’t on the ticket. No one came to see me. When I walk out on that stage there will be no surge of applause. There will be, instead, an uneasy murmur as thousands of people decide whether to check on how many likes their last Instagram photo has gotten, go to the restroom, go buy some nachos, or to listen.

They say the number one fear in America is public speaking, and I’m just as American as you are. I am afraid – of being ignored, boring, confusing, ineffective.

Underneath my fear is a cistern of insecurity – Am I good? Am I loved? Do I matter? – that every failure and rejection refills.

These fears and insecurities aren’t ever-present. They swarm when I sit down to write, before a hard conversation, in a job interview, in a new place with new people, before ascending the stairs to a stage.

So I stand in the darkness, backstage, talking to God and to myself. Exactly like this:

Thank you, God, that I am in Christ. When you look at me you see your Son. You say about me what you said about Him: This is my son. I’m very pleased with him.

Thank you that tonight there is no failure that could make you love me less and there is no success that could make you love me more.

Thank you, God, that Christ is in me. Think, feel, desire, and speak through me. May the Jesus in them recognize the Jesus in me.

Our fears and insecurities are real. But as my friend Annie says, our feelings get to ride but they don’t get to drive. Truth drives.

We are in Christ. Christ is in us. We’re not on this stage alone.


• What fears and insecurities is life stirring up in you today?

Our Prayer

Father, we’re scared and insecure.

Tell us what is true about you.

Tell us what is true about us.

Thank you for graciously placing us in Christ and placing Christ in us.