Spring is trying to happen here in Northern Minnesota on May 6th 2020. It had a strong start, but cool temps with freezing nights have slowed things down to a crawl. No leaves yet, but some of those early bloomers are starting to take off… signs of life.
I truly enjoy living in a part of the world that is blessed by four seasons and the signaling of each is part of a journey of travel from this to that. The flowers starting to bloom in their preplanned order, the longer days, to the coolness and colors rearranged in fall to first snowfalls, Christmas… there is a season, a cycle, something predictable and yet always unique.
But that journey from this to that is the stuff of life and it has the capacity to regenerate or degenerate. By God’s grace it brings us to better places. One of those journeys for people is the journey from fear to love. the Bible says “perfect love casts out fear.” I John 4. But we are such fearful people, and the more I get to know people, the more I witness the incredible power of fear, how it manifests itself in life.
From superstitions, to parents afraid to let their 2 year old fall on a 10 inch foam mat, fear of life, fear of risk, fear of death, untold phobias, but most deadly, the fear of love. ” Better to have never loved and never lose than to ever have loved at all.” Or something like that…
Fearful questions never lead to love-filled answers, under every fear based question, lies ten other fear-based questions and it’s always a mystery how deep this fear goes inside of us. Fear begets fear because the only answer it will accept is another fear based premise resulting in another fear based question. Another ride on the fear ferris wheel, back to where we started.
Looking at Jesus in the gospels we see fear based question after fear based question posed to Him. Fear of power, fear of status, fear of health, fear of Empires, fear of Jesus. Jesus refused to answer fear based questions, he transformed their thoughts, he made the question new and worthy of a response. We long to shelter people from their fear, only to find out it stimulates 5 new ones.
Is it possible to live in a house of love when our world loves to promote fear and hysteria? Isaiah 41:10,13
“So do not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand…For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”
Every sign of life this spring, is an invitation to me to live in love, live in God’s promise, to live in his provision. The world makes it difficult to discover motivation in love, but it’s our journey down a new life-giving path, a broad, level path, where our ankles aren’t turned. Psalm 18