Perfect Love Cast Out Fear

Recently my husband and I took a trip to Niagra Falls for a quick getaway. One night we had gone out to dinner and headed to the park where they would have fireworks over the Falls.

As we walked through the park in the dark, surrounded by over a hundred people I didn’t know, in a place I was unfamiliar with, I kept thinking I should be petrified right now. Typically I would be scared out of my mind in this type of situation.

My mind always wants to be learning, and I dig deep, wanting to understand why things happen or don’t happen.

I thought that if I were alone in this situation, I would be scared to death or not even be there. I would not have gone there alone at all.

But I wasn’t alone; my husband was there next to me, holding my hand and watching over me. If someone walks by, he changes sides to be where he can watch over and protect me.

Just that truth of knowing he was by my side, watching over me, and would do anything he could to protect me, made me feel unafraid of the situation.

God brought this to mind as I sat quietly with my morning coffee, practicing my “being still” exercise.

This is what God wants to be for me.

In those situations where my flesh is tempted to fear and live in anxiety, He wants to be the one that silents the fear.

The truth that He is there, holding my hand, watching over me, and ready to protect me, is one that I have struggled to believe for many years.

My detour came from not believing this is who He is to me. I felt very alone, God did not seem close to me at all, and I did not feel very protected or safe.

This has been a hard truth for me to receive in any relationship. I don’t feel safe with people at all. I expect at some point, I will be betrayed, hurt, or abandoned, which is why there are walls with me most times.

I have lived in these fears for years.

Feeling that kind of peace as I walked in that situation at night, trusting the way I did, brought tears to my heart and joy.

God’s work in us is subtle sometimes.

Sometimes, triggers come quickly, and you realize there is work that needs to be done, and other times you notice there is peace in places where there has always been chaos and instability.

There are hard places and challenging things I have been living in over the years. There are scary places to walk and depressing situations.

God wants me to know He is holding my hand, watching out for me, and ready to protect me from what is unsafe.

I have to choose to trust that truth, and I don’t always.

It is way easier to say than to do. We must be careful telling people, “you just need to trust God.” It doesn’t always come that easy, especially when people and experiences in life have made that difficult to do.

It is what we need to do and where God wants us to be. He desires for us to live in peace. To live in complete trust, surrendering all to Him.

He wants His perfect love to cast out all our fears and to live fearlessly in Him.

Just like with marriage, it takes an investment of time to get to know one another honestly and to know our hearts for each other. I can hold my husband’s hand while walking through those places without fear because I know his heart and believe it is his heart for me.

Believing is the key. Trusting is the key.

In marriage and my walk with God, I have to keep asking myself, “what is holding me back from trusting and believing fully here?”

Many of my fears come from deep places and past experiences.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way. Psalm 139:23-24

I must bring these fears to God, asking Him to search me and my heart. He knows me fully. He knows my anxieties, where they come from, and why they trigger me.

God knows you fully. He knows those anxieties and fears that live deep within us, hindering us from that peace and rest He longs for us to live in.

Let’s bring those fears and anxieties to Him today. Let Him examine our hearts and help us understand why we feel the way we do and why things trigger us so powerfully.

I pray that as we do that with the Lord, one day, we will be walking through that dark, scary, and strange place, realizing that we are walking there peacefully because we know we are not alone. Our Heavenly Father is holding our hand, watching over us, and ready to protect us from what the enemy tries to throw at us.