I was the Spiritual director of a Via de Cristo retreat weekend years ago when Isaiah 43:1 was a prophetic word for me in a way Isaiah could not have envisioned. We have a meal with the staff before the weekend begins and someone had placed table mats with Isaiah 43:1 at each seat. While I was confident the weekend would go well I immediately assumed that it would be a difficult one, as they sometimes are, for I wouldn’t be told to not be afraid unless there was something to be afraid of. And so I was, well I suppose, afraid. As it turned there was nothing to be afraid of and the weekend was as close to perfect as it could be. It may be our nature to turn good news, “the waters shall not overwhelm you,” into bad “Wait a minute. There’s going to be a flood?” but it is not our birthright. We were created by God, redeemed, called by name, to belong to God as precious, honored, and loved. Our human nature would have us measure good news like do not be afraid by our own capacity for courage and that means the good news is diminished even if we really are brave. But when as those who are precious, honored, and loved we measure the good news by God’s capacity to save then the good news really is good.