Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. (Prov. 3:7)

ONE OF MY FAVORITE CARTOONS when I was a kid was Scooby-Doo: Where Are You? The four kids and their faithful canine, Scooby-Doo, always had a mystery to solve. The show was a little scary sometimes, but in the end we always found out that the monster that had been scaring the neighborhood (or hotel guests or amusement park patrons) was the grumpy guy who lived next door. And when he was “unmasked,” he invariably said, “And I would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids.”

Fearing the Lord has nothing to do with being afraid in a childish way. Rather, fear of the Lord has everything to do with how we live every day. My brother-in-law, Dr. Terry Giles, is a scholar and professor of biblical Hebrew, and he offers this definition: “The fear of the Lord is living all of life in the immediate presence of the mysterious and intrusive Creator God.” We acknowledge that we cannot hide from God (Ps. 139) and our lives are open before Him. Understanding that reminds us He is watching us, but also that He is always near, always ready to help. We also acknowledge that God’s ways are higher than ours (Isa. 55:9) and that the One who made us and the universe may choose to intervene according to His pleasure.

Consider this concept of the fear of the Lord. Embrace the mystery and the intrusion of almighty God, and thank Him for His loving presence in your life.

Live today in the immediate presence of the mysterious and intrusive creator God.

Mary McNeil Blackford is a full-time student and freelance editor. She and her husband, Rick, live in Erie, Pennsylvania, with their three dogs.