Real Love and Fear
I started reading Hind's Feet on High Places with my daughter. It's the children's version and the illustrations are very 1993 (and even then might have been a little weird)! Pictures notwithstanding, we are already liking the book. It's a modern classic but in case you've never heard of it, a girl named Much Afraid lives in the Valley of Humiliation in the Village of Much-Trembling with her Fearful relatives.
She works for the Good Shepherd and after a conversation with him blurts out that she wishes she could live where he does--on the High Places! The Good Shepherd tells her he's been waiting for her to ask him about moving there. He then gives her a plan and even two companions to help her on her journey. She is frightened that her Fearful family (specifically her cousin Craven Fear) will stop her from leaving.
The Good Shepherd tells her that in the High Places, "perfect love gets rid of fear". She needs to make her way there so she can finally be free of the fear surrounding her.
As we are surrounded by red hearts and candy kisses in February, it's easy to feel romantic or sweet on the people around us--to think we know what true love is. What's not as easy is shaking off real fear as we navigate our lives. How does "real love" get rid of fear?
When I was a little girl, I remember being afraid for my brother's safety. I wondered how he would make it out of our house it caught on fire. Or if someone would kidnap him while he was walking home from a friend's house. I even worried he'd want to be an astronaut one day and get lost from his ship! (I have a vivid imagination, y'all.)
It seems that love is what motivated me. I loved my brother. I feared for his safety. That's love, right? Well, maybe.
You remember the definition of love, right? It's in 1 John 4:7-21
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God... This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins... God is love...
God is love. God gave His son. Love comes from God.
When I feared for my brother it's because as a little girl I didn't understand God's love for me...and for my brother. I didn't rest in His great love--love great enough to give His Son for the whole world. Now, that doesn't mean nothing bad ever happens. It just means, I don't have to worry. I don't have to be fearful. I don't have to be Much Afraid. I can rest in the Shepherd's great love and live with him in the High Places.
Habakuk 3:19 reads,
"The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights."
God's love for us makes us strong. Strong enough to fight fear. Strong enough to dance and prance across the fears and worries of life. He will enable us to tread on the heights and live in the high places with Him instead of the fearful valleys below.
Family Time: Play "the floor is lava" and jump from cushion to cushion, chair to chair to get across your living room or other large room. See who can get across safely. Read Habakuk 3:19 and Psalm 18:33 and talk about how God will enable us to leap across problems in our lives with the graceful feet of a deer! Allow each family member to share a fear or problem they need God's help with or a person they need strength to love.
Amanda White is a stay-at-home mom of two who blogs at ohAmanda.com and is the author of Truth in the Tinsel: An Advent Experience for Little Hands. In her former life, Amanda was a Children’s Pastor — overseeing, organizing and developing ministry for kids in nursery through middle school, but now that she is a mom, her “skills” are used up on her kids!
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