A Bible verse that spoke to me in a new way recently was in I John 4:18-19

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us.

As I read that verse I also thought about how I am comforted by the humanity of Jesus, as well as His divinity. If He had been only divine, I would be totally undone. But Jesus was also fully human. He knew what it was like to hurt, to be lonely, and to be assailed by fear. But He never sinned by giving in to those things. And because He felt and experienced those things, He is able also to be merciful to me.

Lately I’ve been so assailed by fear. But as I read and reread that verse in I John, I realized that I am forgetting God’s great love for me. God does not punish His children… He does discipline them. But those are huge differences, like the difference between repentance and penance. Repentance turns away from a sin knowing there is no way it can ever be made right; penance keeps looking at the sin and tries to make things right… but can never succeed.

As I looked at bills, the lack of writing contracts, my husband’s health, and times when I so wish I could be an encouragement to our girls but feeling shut out… I realized I was beginning to yield to fear. As I look at that verse again right now, I realize how much fear robs me, not just of my peace, but of my relationships. Who wants to relate to a fearful person? How can I truly love others when I am filled with fear?

And so I’ve been continuing the battle to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith. Has everything changed? No. But there have been answers to prayer. Rich received a birthday greeting with a check in it: our mortgage is covered for another month. We will be able to pay the taxes. I got another small contract with an Israeli company in California, and have another contract pending with a business in Australia. Sadly one of the girls new calves died… I am doubly sad because I don’t know how to help them other than to just be here. Rich is still struggling with his health but we had a good meeting yesterday with a diabetes specialist who had several suggestions and actual supplies to help him.

Life will always have its ups and downs. But I am so thankful for Jesus, walking with me, mercifully guiding and leading, every step of the way.