Perfect love casts out fear

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear . . . “
1 John 4:16-19

Yesterday morning I was sat enjoying the warm yet fresh Guatemalan air in Mark and Rosalie’s (CMS Mission Partners) beautiful garden. The SKD Guatemala team were together for a team retreat, a very welcome space and time to rest, reflect and refocus. Our director had shared some words with us and invited us to take some time on our own with God and ask the question, “How is my heart?”
So, as I sat below the towering pines, listening to the gentle trickle of water from the fountain, looking out across the lush green grass and beyond to the distant mountains, I asked God,
“How is my heart?”
My initial thoughts were of happiness and excitement; I’m living in a season of new beginnings and experiencing a lot of joy. I had to dig deeper, so I breathed deep, closed my eyes and gathered the courage to ask God to show me if there was anything in my heart that should not be there.

Nervous of the answer I opened my eyes, soaking in my peaceful surrounding once more and just then a hummingbird flew by at rapid speed and my heart felt safe, safe in God’s hands. Hummingbirds have a real significance for me and I receive them as a gift from God every time I see one.  In that place of vulnerability God helped me see the fears and doubts that at times take root in my heart. Fears about if I am good enough. Doubting if I can actually do the work I feel called to and worries about failure. Gently God asked me to surrender these doubts and fears and receive His peace. I was reminded of a conversation I recently had about how our lives are not our own, but rather God’s, how it is not about us or me, but Him. His peace filled my heart in that moment and the above passage from 1 John came to my mind, encouraging me to rest in God’s love, where fear cannot be. Why, because perfect love casts out fear and God is perfection, there is no room for fear with Him. I don’t need to worry if I can do this, because the One who can is the One who called me. He is the One who equips me and gives me peace and strength.
Breath deep, peace, be still my heart.

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