Fields of Gold Devotional
Day 7: October 20 by Todd Vick
Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so I was afraid, and
I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ Matthew 25:24-25
Earlier this summer, Kory brought the book, Fields of Gold, to the Operating Campaign Leadership and suggested we consider it as a source for the next campaign. As I read it, I was startled by the book’s emphasis on fear and it made me think about my own fears, the two biggest of which are a fear of heights and a fear of drowning. It’s kind of ironic that I love hiking to lakes and waterfalls in the mountains. That said, I’ve learned that I enjoy looking up at the mountains as much as I like looking down from them.
Of course, the book highlights these types of fears and talks about how they result in our making rational decisions. Without them, we would take unnecessary risks in our lives and put ourselves in danger. But it is also a book on stewardship so the discussion shifts to a fear of being without enough resources to support ourselves or our families due to illness, economic downturn, job loss, etc. These are real fears and every bit as scary as the fears of heights and drowning. Most, if not all of us, have them. Ultimately, the book talks about how we prioritize our fears to live our daily lives.
I am currently helping to teach Custer Road UMC’s Pilgrimage class in which we teach the entire Bible to a class of about 25 Youth over the span of two years. It’s been as much of a learning experience for me as it has been a teaching experience. Last year, I taught on Proverbs which I hadn’t read before. Of course, I expected plenty of life lessons. What I did not expect, much like in my reading of Fields of Gold, was the emphasis on fear. In this case though, the fear was the “fear of the Lord”. That phrase, or some derivation of it, is mentioned in Proverbs more than 30 times. The lesson I taught ended up focusing on what this fear means. It’s not the Old Testament wrath of God that you might think. Instead, it means to hold God in reverence and to be in awe of Him. In doing so, we allow Him into our lives and to be with us, helping us take on our fears.
Today’s scripture is the parable of the man who chose not to invest his master’s money despite instructions to do so. He was scared that he would lose it. But if he truly had feared the Lord as suggested in Proverbs and had reverently invited Him into his life to help with his worldly fears, he would have taken the kind of risks God wants us to take. He wants us to put it on the line for Him. He wants us out there. Does that mean He will do it all? No. We have a part to play. We are in partnership with God dealing with our daily fears, overcoming them to better His kingdom.
I hope you have a fear of the Lord that provides the partner you need to deal with your worldly fears. Gold is there for you. And, if those fears are holding you back from putting your resources to work for Him, please pray for how He can help you with these very real fears.
Almighty Lord, help us to not fear the unknown. Help us to not fear being without. Transform our fears into a never ending trust that Our Father will always take care of us. In your heavenly name, I pray. Amen.
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