Aren't we all afraid of something? Jesus said "Be not afraid" but do we really listen and try to follow that advice, or do we cover ourselves with our fears like a comfortable old overcoat and wear them wherever we go?
My husband is afraid. Last week Paul checked out a brand-new book from the library and decided he would bring it to work to read during his break. He came home from work that day and asked me if I had seen his book. "No, you took it to work with you." I replied. The next day he returned from work triumphant. He had found his book...on the side of the road. It seems he had set it on top of his car as he unlocked the door, and forgot all about it. He found it on the side of the road, rain-soaked, muddy and with a broken binding. It seems that sturdy book took a ten mile ride on top of Paul's car before it skidded off to the ditch.
Now, Paul is afraid to return the book to the library because he worries that the librarian will yell at him and cause him to blush, and possibly cry. (Truthfully, our family has a very bad reputation at our public library. We are much despised for returning items late and in poor condition. I'll never forget the time little Justin broke a library CD in half and then stuck it in our computer to see what would happen. I'll tell you what happened. A $65.00 fine is what happened.) So, Paul is justified in his fear. Still, he can't get around it. He has to face up to his fear and return the book, confess his crime and pay retribution.
I'm afraid, too. I'm afraid of how reckless my children are. I'm afraid when Jack tells me that while I was at work, Joe set up a mattress at the top of the stairs and they all slid down to the bottom on it, again and again. I'm afraid when Justin shows me a video he made of himself attempting to jump over the garbage can on his scooter and I hear the sound of Mary laughing as she watches Justin fall and practically break his neck.
Fear is irrational. I'm afraid of aging. I'm afraid that as I turn 44 years old, my entire body will begin to fall apart, and my mental capacities will quickly diminish.
But I know better than to be afraid. I just need to remind myself of the lovely words from 1 John and the tremendous Lover who is the only One whose Love can remove all of my unfounded fears and cast them far, far away from me...
“There is no fear in love. Perfect love casts out all fear.”
1 John 4:18
I live inside of fear.
I cower under its shadow.
I carry it with me wherever I go.
But Your love is stronger than my fear.
You shower it down from the heavens
In generous rainfall
That enriches my soul.
You wash the fear
Into the stream
And carry it far away from me.
I am left with the glow
Of peaceful love
Finding it in all people
All things and
Fear trembles and runs in your presence.
Thank You Lord, for Your perfect love. Amen.