Before - the time of
waking refreshed and the sun shining through your curtain.
making plans for your future thinking you know all the road bumps.
dreaming about the one person you will fall in love with and marry.
remembering life as rosy with few cares in your world.
hearing the contented sigh of your newborn child.
whistling as you skipped down the sidewalk to a friend’s home.
staying up late because school was closed due to snow.
The “befores” seemed so numerous and so wonderful before…
waking to the sunrise perplexed yet not knowing why
making plans but fearful of road bumps
dreaming about what might happen to a loved one held so dear
remembering that one time back when life wasn’t so rosy and carefree
hearing of a new virus and thinking about your newborn
whistling loud to cover the volume of the news as it hurtles like a waterfall on your personal world
staying up late to stay abreast of the closures of businesses, schools, and countries.
And this is life, you fear. Life different from any you’ve known before.
Cries of “Come, Lord Jesus, come!”
Fear for your life and the lives of the ones you love. Wondering if you’ve said all you need to say because you or they may not live another day.
Grasping in panic for any lifeline, then hearing of doctors and nurses falling to the same song. “No one is safe!” you shout in your head.
So many sick; so many dead.
FEAR burbling to a crescendoed shout that deafens all reason.
FEAR given way to TERROR and the change of life you thought you controlled.
A change not dictated by professionals, but a change mandated by yourself because FEAR has confronted you head-on with your own MORTALITY.
That sudden REALITY and the extreme of your FEAR cause an instantaneous HUSH.
A HUSH that comes from knowing you KNOW NOTHING.
You control NOTHING.
You cannot stop DEATH.
You cannot snatch your LIFE from its viselike grip.
DEATH, when it’s time, CANNOT be CHEATED.
And with that REALITY, you are ready to listen, and see, and come to know.
Life is a GIFT. A Gift given from the CREATOR GIVER.
And a hush comes over you as you recognize this truth.
And you come to your moment of decision.
You recognize you cannot cheat death.
You cannot save yourself.
You have very little control and all you want is the sun to shine through your curtains again and to make plans and dream and remember and hear and whistle and stay up late because it’s just snow.
Then you realize you can have this even when fear calls to you. You can have this hope and live in the knowledge of the victory that you will always have this, even if not in physical form, but in the mind, spirit, and heart because you KNOW the CREATOR GIVER.
Live life with HOPE.
Live now and the future with HOPE.
Accept the HOPE God gives each person who believes in Him.
Then VICTORY is yours because you are GOD’S CHILD.
You want to be a child again and dream and wake to snowy mornings with the sun shining through the curtains and know that no matter what happens, fear does not win because Jesus has given you victory over fear, sin, and death. Before takes on new meaning. Before is the time prior to you becoming GOD’S CHILD. NOW and FOREVER is living in the VICTORY HE GIVES YOU.
A Devotional Thought
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love.” (1 John 4:18 [NIV])
This verse comes from 1 John, in which John writes to believers in Jesus Christ. He reminds them if you have fear, you do not have perfect love. You are not mature in your faith in Jesus Christ. Perfection is very difficult and none of us ever get it right and are truly perfect through our own means. Yet, John says we can be perfect; we can be mature. This perfection, perfect faith in Jesus, comes by knowing and believing the love God has for us (vs. 16) and becoming His children through faith in His Son, Jesus. John said, “God is love and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.”
Love and fear cannot occur at the same time. Fear is from Satan. With it he causes us to doubt for our lives, reputations, jobs, safety, and salvation, etc. Satan, in his attempt to keep us from believing in Jesus as the Son of God, tries to turn our eyes away from God by distracting us with fear. This is why John said perfect love casts out fear. Fear and love cannot occur at the same time. Satan doesn’t want us to be perfect in Christ. He doesn’t want us to grow to maturity in our relationship with God. Satan seeks to create chaos so other people will not believe in him. If he can cause the people who believe in God to fear, then unbelievers see no purpose in believing either and he can lead many people away from salvation.
Perfect love, God’s love that He gives to us and that lives in us as His children, casts out fear. Is your faith growing to perfection or are you allowing Satan to distract you with fear for your life?
Perfect love casts out fear just like God cast Satan out from heaven when he sinned against Him. Because God lives in His children, His love resides in them, too.
Perfect love casts out fear. As a child of God, you have His love residing in you; you have perfect love in you and available to sustain you during this time when Satan is trying to distract you from God and your relationship with Him.
Perfect love casts out fear. You have this love in you and can share it with other people so they have hope, and fear cannot cause terror and panic in their lives.
Perfect love casts out fear. You, as God’s child who has His perfect love living in them, love people just as God loved us enough to send His Son, Jesus, to die for our sins so we could be in relationship with Him forever. Are you showing and sharing this love with others who are fearing and living in terror during this crisis?
Perfect love casts out fear.
What are you doing to grow and allow God to cast out fear in and around you?
Lord, God, I admit, I am afraid. I’ve been following the news of this crisis and I fear for my life and the lives of people I love. I had not stopped to think about You and Your love for each of us. Forgive me for getting so absorbed in the unfolding and mounting crisis that I lost sight of You. Forgive me for not coming to You before now. Why do I only think about You, God, when crisis comes? Lord, save me now and save me from my sins forever. Help me to believe in You always. Let the love, Lord, You’ve put into me show so people see Jesus in me and want to know about the peace I have even in the midst of this crisis. God, speak and work through this body You’ve given me so that others come to know You as their Savior and have Your peace because of You living in them. Let Your love be evident, so the fear Satan is causing decreases. Let Your will be done, Father, on earth as it is in heaven. Perfect me, mature me, so that day by day I become closer to You, our relationship becomes more intimate. May Jesus’ prayer that we be one as You and He are one come to fruition. Amen.