Do Not Worry, Do Not Be Anxious, Do Not Be Afraid
Outskirts Press (2014)
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake for Reader Views (11/14)
Often we turn to others for counsel and advice when we are confused, indecisive, and focusing on anxiety provoking thoughts. This often leads to only a temporary or immediate relief without permanence or an attitudinal change.
In “Do Not Worry, Do Not Be Anxious, Do Not Be Afraid” Thomas Lamb offers the reader a self-help manual to those plagued with worry, anxiety, and fear. Lamb records brief stories, quotes, and promises from140 Old Testament occasions and 60 from the New Testament, where God directs his people not to worry, not to be anxious, and not to be afraid.
From a simple “Fear Not, Abram!” and the comforting words to Hagar, Jacob, and Joseph’s brothers, God’s affirmations to and through Moses throughout the wilderness journey and Joshua’s leadership of Israel as they moved into the promised land, are scriptures which remind us of God’s presence, protection and promise. Gideon, Samuel, and David are among others in the Old Testament receiving assurance of God’s help in every difficulty.
There are also numerous examples where individuals are told to take courage and claim healing drawn from the books of the Apocrypha. Job was often told to stand firm and be unafraid. The Psalms of David, the Proverbs of Solomon, and the writings of the prophets are rich in reminders of God’s presence and faithfulness.
The angel’s message to Joseph, lessons from Jesus’s teaching on the sermon of the mount, and the words of encouragement to those he physically healed are all additional examples and affirmation of His promise to take us through times of fear, anxiety, and the worries and cares that come our way.
Lamb combines a spiritual depth acquired during his nine years of study for the Catholic priesthood, part of which he was enclosed in a contemplative monastery. His love for Scripture comes through in his writing. Lamb writes on a premise taught by a Benedictine Monk, “The ink of the Scripture is never dry…it is as if it has just been written just for me and you.”
“Do Not Worry, Do Not Be Anxious, Do Not Be Afraid” by Thomas Lamb is an important addition to my devotional library. Each reading offers encouragement and promises for contemplation, comfort for times of solace and uncertainty, and reflection for times of prayer.