Fear, Gideon & St Patrick

Do you have any bible characters that you can relate to? Ones that, when you read their story, that make you nod your head in empathy? I have a few of them. These days Gideon is my guy.

Gideon, the guy who was hiding out in an old wine-press when God called on him. The guy pulled ‘a Moses’ with his excuses when God called him out and gave him a job to do. “Who am I to do this?” “I am weak.” This is the guy who boldly tested God and then freaked out when he found out he was actually talking to God.

Yeah, I can relate to Gideon. I know there are things that I must do, but I let fear hold me back, to stay silent; a fear that what I was asked to do has had very little purpose or impact.

There’s a fear that when I cry out to God that He’ll be busy and not hear me. Fear that I’m possibly not doing what I should and so don’t qualify for help. So I stop, I freeze, and I don’t do anything.

Fear. It’s crippling. It’s debilitating.

Despite his fear, though, Gideon stepped out. He didn’t stop questioning, he didn’t stop testing and asking questions; but he did step out.

So my friends, I am going to try to do what I’ve been asked to do. I’m going to do it despite my fears. I’m going to test, to question, to cry out to the One, the only One, who can help me. I’m Gideon. I’m going to crawl out of my wine-press, under the cover of night, and I’m going to do what I’ve been asked to do.

I heard a prayer today that I think will help me to once again grab hold of & declare the truths that I need in this season. It’s by St. Patrick and it is known as his “Breastplate” prayer.

I bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this day to me for ever.
By power of faith, Christ’s incarnation;
His baptism in the Jordan river;
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spicèd tomb;
His riding up the heavenly way;
His coming at the day of doom;

I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of the cherubim;
The sweet ‘well done’ in judgment hour,
The service of the seraphim,
Confessors’ faith, Apostles’ word,
The Patriarchs’ prayers, the Prophets’ scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord,
And purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the starlit heaven,
The glorious sun’s life-giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea,
Around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward,
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility,
I bind to me these holy powers.

Against all Satan’s spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart’s idolatry,
Against the wizard’s evil craft,
Against the death wound and the burning,
The choking wave and the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity;
By invocation of the same.
The Three in One, and One in Three,
Of Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.

So my friends, what is holding you back? Are you ready to step out of your wine-press? Want to do this thing together?

Come on, I’ll hold your hand if you’ll hold mine. Together we can so do this.


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