What are you afraid of?

We just recently returned from Seattle.  Coronvirus, the homeless, drug abuse, big city poverty, sickness.  The airport and trips through the city on the light rail, or visits to the local hospital or grocery store gives you plenty to think about. People, so many people, each with a unique story and a need.  A beautiful and vibrant place, and yet, plenty to worry about.  What do you fear?  What causes you to turn away and take the safer course of action? What keeps you and me from responding to the needs of others as you know you should?  What thoughts cause a restless sleep or nagging conscience?…  Fear of death, disease, poverty, embarrassment, ridicule, sickness…  Theres’s plenty to keep us awake at night, plenty to rationalize our taking the “prudent” path instead of taking the risk of faith by trusting in God and not ourselves.  Perhaps that’s why we find over 100 verses in the Bible encouraging us to “fear not” and reassuring us of God’s love for us.  We are told that the antidote to fear is… Love (1 John 4:18).  We are commanded to love… The greatest commandment, according to Christ, is to love God and our fellow man.   That command is ultimately for our own benefit and our ultimate fulfillment.  It also proves that we are obedient and one of Christ’s disciples.  It is love that compels to us risk infection or injury when we reach out to a homeless person, give to a stranger in need, or encourage a person struggling with addiction, heartache or abuse.  God cares for us in order that we may share His love, through us, with those who struggle and those who feel unwanted, unloved.  It’s been said that all of life, all that really matters anyway, is a struggle within us between fear and love.  The next time you are confronted with a really difficult decision and feel the tug of your heart, the still, soft voice of the Holy Spirit… Consider God’s promises and choose love.  “Fear not, for I am with you, even until the end of time.” (1 John 4:4, Matthew 28:20 & 10:29-31, John 14:27)

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