“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
Fear can be a terrible paralyzing emotion to live with. There is the fear of an illness making your family bankrupt due to the high cost of medical care. There is the fear of losing your job and not being able to support your family. All these fears, if realized, will bring a “punishment” to those involved whether ostracization, bankruptcy and/or homelessness.
We, as Christians, can put our trust in God and feel the perfect love from Him that casts out the fear and allows us to live above the fear surrounding us. We also have the opportunity through an organization such as Family Promise, to provide a safe environment for those families who have lost their home due to a family illness, a loss of a job or both. St. Paul’s participates in Family Promise along with Trinity Lutheran Church in providing our clients with a free place to stay, meals provided by church members and the support of the church community while they save their money for their rent deposits.
When we provide the meals or chaperone our clients through the night, we have an opportunity to hear their stories. I will never forget the young couple a year ago New Year’s Eve, that shared their story about being pregnant and living in their car. They were so appreciative of the Family Promise program that was giving them that second chance to rise above the fear and shame of their situation. Hopefully, they realize that there are Christians who care and want to share His love with others. What a small inconvenience we experience having to sleep on a cot for one night when there are those who live with the fear of not knowing where they will sleep tonight or how they will ever be able to provide for their family.
Lord, help me to be a beacon of God’s love and hope to those who live in fear. Amen.