love casts out fearAfter reading Emily’s post here, this is what came to mind:

-I’m upset at the church that got rid of my family seemingly out of worry and the need to place God in a little box.

-I’m scared of the great big unknown and my tendency to put God in that same little box that I judge others for doing.

-I am struggling to trust God with a problem my husband is having with his leg. What if it’s cancer? I’m afraid to even catch a glimpse of a future containing that. Have I mentioned we have five kids?

-I sometimes grow apprehensive of life in a small town harboring those who dislike (maybe even hate) my family. I keep trying to convince myself that it doesn’t matter what others think, only God, but I’m being honest here. It still scares me, even if only for the minute possibility that my kids will be mistreated, lied to, or ridiculed.

-I hold my relationships loosely, worrying that they too may someday detect a reason to distrust me.

-I’m scared of bitterness overtaking my life, defining my relationships, and keeping me cynical.

God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.

We, though, are going to love—love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first.

If anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both.

I John 4:17-21 (The Message)

I love the end of this chapter: “Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both.”

Scary, but true. Risky, but rewarding. It’s easier to remain the cynic, but my best days are the ones I reach out to others in love instead of cowering in fear. I’m taking baby steps, but I’m trusting God to finish the real work in me.


4 thoughts on “Scared

  1. This is really good Suzanne. Thanks for being real. I have been pretty cynical about the church in general over the past month. But I can’t cower in fear like you said. I need to forgive, love, reach out, serve and not put my hope in man and how he might turn on me, but in God, who loves me unconditionally and will never forsake me.

    • Suzanne says:

      Thanks Bethany! I couldn’t sleep last night, so I decided to write. I am so up and down emotionally. Some days I feel like I could conquer the world, while other days I just want to hole up in my house and be the martyr. I still struggle with the whole mask thing. I want to convince everyone who asks how I’m doing that I’m great, but that’s not my reality most of the time. I am hurting. I am grieving. Yes, God is faithful and I’m leaning on Him, but there are relationships here on earth that may be severed forever, and in my mind, it’s totally unnecessary. Each time one of my kids asks me about our old church, the pain returns uninvited. I hate it. I don’t understand it. I’m praying we can rise above and focus on others instead of ourselves.

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