Author Ann Voskamp says in her book One Thousand Gifts that “all fear is but the notion that God’s love ends.” I have a feeling I’ll be mulling over those ten words for a very long time.
What is fear if not that we are not going to have our needs met? What is fear if not that we are not going to be taken care of? What is fear if not that things will not work out?
I believe we all have a very odd relationship with fear. Most of us live as if we will never expire. They say that teenagers feel immortal and can act on that misinformation but every time we get in our car and drive down the street, we are chancing that each passing car does not have someone in it who is drunk or texting or just plain blanking out. At any moment, something horrific could happen. And we go grocery shopping and repaint our bedrooms and shop for cute shoes and get pedicures. (And when I say we, I mean I.)
So there’s this tension. We almost should live each moment in utter fear. So many bad things can happen.
And yet, we are told clearly over and over to not fear, to not be afraid, to not worry, to cast our burdens, to focus on just this one day, to be grateful for the bread in front of us and not think about tomorrow’s provision – will there or won’t there be bread?
Psalm 48 says that God will guide us until the end of time. And hasn’t He guided me every day up until this point? Why would I think He’d cease? I Peter 5:7 tells us to cast our anxieties on Him for one simple reason – He cares for us, bottom line.
If I think the guidance and protection and provision will all of the sudden stop, if I live this day or even this minute in fear, I am saying what Ann Voskamp is saying. My life is proclaiming with each catch of my breath from worry that deep down I believe God’s love for me can come to a stop. If only, in those slivers of moments, just between a worry emerging and my entire body responding to that worry I could remind myself that I John 4:8 says that God is love, which means, He cannot stop being something that He fundamentally is, nor can He stop acting out of His character.
Ahhh…I think I am finally beginning to see what John meant when he promised that “perfect love expels all fear”. God is perfect love and it will never end.
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What awesome perspective. I’ll have to remember this when entering the next dark moment, that God has plans for me. Perfect love casts out all fear.