How do you cope with tension or fear of the unknown? I tend to laugh as a response to those situations. My palms will often get clammy and sometimes my hands get extremely cold. It is a reaction in my body that tells me I should run away (fight or flight). Other folks may chew their fingernails; while others sit in a chair and bounce their foot up and down constantly.
New student orientation occurred last night in our local junior high school. Imagine several hundred 8th graders and some new ninth grade students filling a gymnasium. The electricity inside the gym could have run that school lighting system for three months. Laughter, hugs, chattering, cell phone usage spikes, and a host of other defense mechanisms were implemented. Fascinating!
Parents and grandparents tried to glean information from school administration so they could guide their children and grandchildren through a new school. The kids at some level were listening but not in a way that would produce confidence in themselve as they traveled the halls of the school. The parents who appeared nervous or unsure tended to have children who appeared backward and looking for a place to hide. Parents who seemed calm and talked to their children throughout the evening seemed to have children who walked forward with confidence. Fascinating!
At the end of the night, one important directive of the principal was this, "If you get lost on the first day of school, you will not get in trouble. There will be teachers out in the hallways to help you. If the combination lock on your locker frustrates you, don't worry. We have people here to help you.
The same dynamic exists in the church; especially when one engages our Holy God. Trembling, nervous laughter, distancing, and in some cases separation from worship occur. Our word from the Word of God today encourages us to draw near and attend to God. Receive godly instruction and allow the Holy Spirit's presence to calm and comfort you. Fear not!
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—
17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you
know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
(John 14:16-18, NIV)
Take a moment to thank God for His abiding presence and promise to be with you always.