Monday, March 17, 2014

Fear or Love

So, in the last few months my husband and I have started watching the BBC show "Call the Midwife." Now, however you feel about the name-- it tends to make one giggle, I'll admit it-- stop what you're doing and go watch the first two episodes. If you still think it's silly after that, well, God help you. 

The shows are actually based on someone's memoirs, and the writing (narrated by the main character) is beautiful. The amount of one-liners she's had have made me (almost) want to open a Twitter account; but one comment in particular from one of the characters has been ringing in my ears since I heard it: 

"I've come to realize there are only two motivations for doing anything: fear or love." 

As I reflect on my last semester in seminary, this pretty much sums up the landscape of my heart. I'm nearing the end of a precious season and there is much to grieve, but there is also much to fear: Will we get jobs? Will the next place be as wonderful as this place? Am I actually ready to be a minister, or have I just been kidding myself? 

But there is also much to love. The people I've come to know and call family for the last four years; the season that has been such an unexpected and life-changing gift; the God who brought us here and made a way for us to both be in school; and the place He is currently preparing for us next, are all gifts from Him to be celebrated even in the pain of transition and the discomfort of uncertainty. I can fear to say goodbye to my life in Dallas, or I can lovingly thank God for the gift it has been. I can fear the future or I can trust Him to provide it. I can fear my failure as a minister or I can step out in love for those to whom God calls me. 

I want my steps these last few months to be energized by love more than fear. I want to apply for jobs without believing the lie that securing my future is totally and completely up to me, and I want to sincerely pray that God would provide the right person for those positions, out of love for the people who need them. I want to look into the fog of the future and cling to the God who has governed my past, not bite my nails in anxious agony. And I want to be so secure in Him that I am able to pull my head out of the sand and actually see the people who are around me right here, right now. I don't want to miss out on love because of fear. 

Because I'm God's child in transition-- the transition from old to new creation-- I know fear continues to be a dynamic even in my love. And yet, because I've been united to Him by faith, I can trust that He is at work to eliminate it completely. See, Love is His name. And "perfect love casts out fear." (1 John 4:18) 

What are areas of fear in your life? What would it look like to let Jesus replace that fear with love? 

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