"There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear" (I John 4:17).
This Scripture and I go around and around. I wonder if this love is even with me. I question it because I still feel fear. Have I rejected this perfect love? Or, even more dire—have I lost it?
Saint John is speaking about how the perfect love of Christ and His gift of His Spirit has destroyed our fear of death and God's punishment. Christ's perfect love has opened the gates of Heaven! Friendship with God in our lives and at their ending is possible! We don't need to fear death!
But I still feel fear. As a child of God, baptized into His Church, redeemed, receiving the Sacraments regularly, praying daily, I still experience fear. I still feel sometimes crushing waves of anxiety. I suffer the ebb and flow of daily worries. I still fear real, terrifying storms that could happen to me and my family. Fear is still a part of my life, as real as Christ is.
How do I reconcile the realness of fear in my life with the same reality of experiencing Christ's love daily?
Christ's perfect love doesn't eliminate the fear that comes with life, but it destroys the source of fear, a life after death apart from God. I don't fear losing God's love, but my soul will still wrestle with striving and longing to live a life more fully in the Spirit. I may experience and feel fear in my life in many ways, but at the same time know Christ.
I can still feel the biting wind of fear, the drenching anxiety, the chaos of the world but I also can always look out and see Jesus walking towards me on the water.
Read the Act of Contrition and see how we don't just dread the loss of Heaven and pains of hell but that we would offend God. He's waiting for us to return to Him again and again.
Christy Isinger is a wife and mom to five lovely, loud children and lives in northern Canada. When not homeschooling, she is a devoted reader of English literature from Jane Austen to Agatha Christie. She writes about the beauty of faith, life, and the home at her blog and is the co-host of the Fountains of Carrots Podcast. You can find out more about her here. She is the author of our Blessed Conversations: The Ten Commandments study found here.