Fear. It's not a fun word. It's not a fun emotion to experience. There are times and places where fear is a good thing. Fear can keep us from harm. But if we allow it to, fear can also keep us from what God's best is for us.
That's the kind of fear I battle on almost a daily basis. I have the normal silly fears of heights, roller coasters, and creepy crawly things. But I also have the fears that seem at times to define me. And those fears are what can keep me from doing what I know God has called me to do.
Recently, I've been battling fear in new areas. But at the same time, it's a familiar fear. It's the fear of change, the fear of failure, and the fear of being vulnerable and real all wrapped up together. It's fear that I've battled before, only the situation is different.
Healthy fear can help keep me safe. Unhealthy fear will harm and cripple me.
And so I battle. Day after day. Sometimes experiencing victory and sometimes giving into the fear. And that's when I hear God's whisper:
"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear..." (1John 4:18a)
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified...for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." (Deuteronomy 31:6)
And then I have a choice. I can choose to believe that what God has said is true. That his perfect love (because his love is the only perfect love I know of) will chase my fear out. That he will be with me. Always. I can choose to trust the One who has more than proved himself trustworthy. Or I can choose to wallow in my fear. I can choose to say that I think God is a liar, because I don't believe what he has said in his word.
And frankly, I don't want to be the one to call God a liar.
So here's my choice. I am choosing to believe God. I am choosing to allow him to perfectly love me and replace my fear with his love. I am choosing to trust him. Because he is believable. He is trustworthy. And his very name is LOVE.