"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
2 Timothy 1:7
Are you afraid? Of illness? Of death? Of the economy? Of your boss? Of things that go "bump" in the night? Are you?
Do you live with the words "What if?" swirling through your mind? What if I lose my job? What if I lose my spouse? What if I lose my health?
What if the wrong person is elected president? What if I don't have enough money to pay the bills? What if I never get married? What if I do? What if I make the wrong choice? What if?
We all have fears. We all worry. We strive. We try. We fail. We fall.
But "God hath not given us the spirit of fear." So where is this fear coming from?
We had a storm last week. A bad storm. My husband was driving home from work in it when, as he put it, a tree fell on him. He called me from the side of the road, where he had stopped to gather his nerves. "A tree fell on me" he said. Huh? A tree fell on you??? Only he wasn't hurt. Only the car wasn't scratched. There was a tree, and it fell, and he couldn't stop in time, and the tree fell down to the road, and somehow he wasn't there then.
He called me back later. He was going to come home, now.
He got home, and said he'd gone to look at the tree. There was a truck stopped behind the tree, because the tree was blocking the road. The man in the truck said that he would never have believed it, if he hadn't seen it for himself. The tree was falling on my husband's car. It was going down, and it stopped. In mid-air. And waited. And my husband's car went underneath. And the tree shattered on the road. Just behind. After it stopped. In mid-air. And waited. My husband saw the tree the next day. It was still in the road, because the road crew was having trouble getting it out. Because it was covered in wires.
"God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of POWER, and of LOVE, and of a SOUND MIND."
"Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he is in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgement: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us." 1 John 5:15-19
A SOUND MIND.
"So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance...In such a spirit on my part and on yours we face our common difficulties. They concern, thank God, only material things. Values have shrunken to fantastic levels; taxes have risen; our ability to pay has fallen...the savings of many years in thousands of families are gone. More important, a host of unemployed citizens face the grim problem of existence, and an equally great number toil with little return. (Franklin D. Roosevelt, Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933)
Does this sound familiar? This was FDR's first Inaugural address, given during the Great Depression. "God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of POWER, and of LOVE, and of a SOUND MIND."
We have been here before. And the world kept spinning. And we do not have to be afraid. "They concern, thank God, only material things." Not our spirits. Never those. Not when we have the love of the almighty God.
"Perfect love casteth out fear." Perfect LOVE casteth out FEAR. CAST OUT! GONE! THROWN AWAY!
Do not fear. Come boldly to our Heavenly Father, and sit at his feet. Experience his love. His power. He wants us to have a sound mind, not a "nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror!" And whatever you think of the governments of this world, they are not in control. God is. And he will not let us down.
I can only believe that God sent his angels down to hold onto that tree while my husband drove under it, untouched. Or maybe he just spoke to it, as Jesus spoke to the waves. I don't know. But I do know that nothing can harm us without his consent, and his ways, and his love, are perfect.