It seems like the biggest disease of our time is not cancer or covid, but fear. Fear of rejection, fear of the unknown, fear of death and loss and fear of fear itself, which robs us of our purpose, our joy and our victory.
What is so interesting and at the same time sad, is that the very thing we fear the most, we often inflict on others. We have a society where courage is becoming a scarce commodity. People are afraid to speak their truth because of rejection, and how do we treat others that actually do voice their concerns? We inflict cancel culture on them. They no longer exist; we literally try to delete them from our lives, total rejection.
It reminds me of the weird story in the Bible where the Israelites were complaining and rebelling against Moses as they had many times before. They were ungrateful, spiteful and rebellious. So Moses went to God and said, I have had it with these people. Nothing will ever satisfy them. God replied and said, I am with you Moses. I have also had enough of this ungrateful bunch. So, God sent poisonous snakes to bite them and many died. Soon they realized that they needed help, so they went to Moses and begged him to speak with God so that He would remove the snakes. But God does something very strange, he does not remove the snakes, he tells Moses to make a copper snake and put it on a pole. When people get bitten, He told Moses, instruct them they need to stare at the snake to ensure that they don’t die. So the Israelites had to stare at the snake, the very thing they feared, to help them become more courageous.
The moral of this is: The only way to overcome our fear is to face it. The only way to ward of terror is to confront it.
What also happened when they faced the copper snake was that they understood what they had become. They started seeing their own darkness and shadow. They realized how ungrateful and sinful they had become. By staring at the truth about their own nature and mortality they started to realize that only once you have faced and acknowledged who you have become, is there hope of redemption.
Being courageous is telling the truth whether people support you or not. It is about being authentic no matter where you go. Facing our fears and living lives that ultimately wrestles with truth is the only path to freedom. When we crucify truth, we crucify our own redemption and purpose.
The copper snake stands as a reminder to us even today that just because everybody else believes a lie, does not make it the truth. May we all grow in courage to face our own snakes and to push through all the lies to ultimately find the truth. The truth shall set you free.