People all over the world are afraid. We fear the unknown. There is a collective and palpable sense of dread. Terrorists can strike anyone, at any moment, in any country, in any venue.
Added to that, you may have personal fears. Anxieties. Fear can give us ulcers. It can paralyze us. It can rob us of our joy.
You may be afraid about your health, or a loved one’s health.
Maybe you worry about money. Will you be able to keep your job? Will you ever find a job that’s more fulfilling?
Perhaps you’re anxious about your children. Will they be safe? Will they make good choices?
Or it could be interpersonal conflict that has you bound in fear. Will you ever be loved the way you want to be loved? Are you afraid of growing old alone?
Fear is destructive and consuming. But there’s something more powerful.
Linus, of Peanuts’ fame, is a timid child. Despite repeated attempts by many of his friends, he refuses to relinquish hold of his tattered blue blanket. It is, in fact, his security. He clings to that blanket.
And yet, something happens to embolden Linus to let go.* Linus overcomes his shyness to walk across the stage and recite the Greatest Story Ever Told. In the middle of his retelling, notice the exact moment when he drops his blanket.
The angel announces, “Fear not!” When he hears that, timid young Linus takes those words to heart. He chooses to let go of his fear. He releases his tight grasp on a counterfeit to grab on to the only true source of security. Security that will never fail.
“I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11
Good tidings of great joy are bigger than anything that troubles Linus. The perfect love of a Savior dispels his fear.
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfect in love.” I John 4:18.
Perfect love can drive out your fear, too.
(*I read a blog by Jason Soroski that got me thinking about this.)