No, I Won’t be Afraid

For those of my readers who are not aware, I have not-so-secret dream that I could make Tik-Tok videos all day.

Earlier this week was my children’s school annual virtual dinner. Virtual dinners, by the way, are the single greatest thing to emerge out of Covid. You get to support a meaningful cause, from the comfort of your new living room couch. It truly doesn’t get better than that. As my wife was teaching a class, I was on baby-duty. My beautiful princess Devora is at the age where she is working up the muscle strength to be able to take her first steps. As such, with the computer on with the annual dinner, I was holding her upright, encouraging her to stand up on her own– an important prerequisite to walking on her own.

Lo and behold, after a few minutes, cheered on by her dear siblings and loving father (me!) she did it– she stood up on her own for several seconds at a time. Fortunately, we were able to even capture some of those magical moments on my fancy shmancy iPhone 11 camera.

Obviously, the next step was to create a classic TikTok video to properly commemorate this momentous ocassion. As I was watching the video, which was about my daughter overcoming her fears to stand up by herself, the song that popped into my mind was “Stand by you,” by Ben E. King. I found a gnarly version sung by John Lennon, and the TikTok was all but made.

As I watched it a few times, I was overcome by the very powerful message that the video conveyed: I listened to the awesome words, “No I won’t be afraid, oh, I won’t be afraid, just as long as you stand by me.”

You see in the video my precious daughter uncertain and not so confident in her ability. But as her doting family was literally standing by her side, encouraging her on, she found her inner strength and courage, and did something she never thought she could do– stand up by herself! Empowered with that confidence and support, she was a transformed young lady.

The same is true in our own lives. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed and scared. We don’t think we can do it. We feel frozen and unable to move forward. It is specifically these times when we need to remember that G-d is standing by our side, constantly cheering us on, and ready to catch us if we fall. I am not sure if this what Ben E. King meant, but knowing G-d is always with us, obviates the need to be afraid.

Next time we are overcome with fear or anxiety, we can remind ourselves of those powerful words: No I won’t be afraid– oh I won’t be afraid. Just as long as You stand by me.

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