Claude Monet, the famous artist reportedly said “People discuss my art and pretend to understand as if it was necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love.” So often, when I am experiencing a challenge in my life, my first question I ask myself is “Where do I need to love more?” When I am loving wholeheartedly and without ego, any and all fear dissipates and I begin to experience change.
Genesis 28:15 reads “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
The above was on my mind this morning as I awoke and I was immediately reminded of the words “under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all”. Indivisible meaning undivided and “for all” is self-explanatory. While praying for our country I was led to a verse in a hymn that is sung in our Church.
“Come, ye disconsolate, where’er ye languish,
Here health and peace are found, Life, Truth, and Love;
Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish;
Earth has no sorrow but Love can remove.”
“Perfect Love casteth out fear.” Fear is always at the base of any discomfort followed by hatred and resentment. Recognizing this, I know I have to begin my prayer work with God/Love and see how He is seeing things. I know it is not from eyes that are filled with hatred, resentment, bitterness, etc. Today, I will look through God’s eyes and listen carefully; rather than with judgment and self-righteousness.!
While beginning my day this morning, I began to ponder how fearful thoughts try to sneak in; whether in the way of upcoming lack of Good, Health or finances. It seems to always be in the way of lack and starts out subtle, but soon grows. 1 John 4:18 reads “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.”
This says to me that love and fear cannot co-exist so love is always the answer. The question I always ask myself when tempted by fear is “Where do I need to love more?” and it is always uncovered! Love is always the answer. Today I will do just that!
Recently I heard a testimony given by a friend about protection for her on a busy thoroughfare. As she was driving in heavy traffic, a piece of plastic flew off the truck ahead of her and landed on her windshield blocking her vision. As she prayed, she was able to pull off and remove the piece and there was a break in the traffic so she was able to return on the highway and continue on. There was such humility in her voice as she spoke about this with no trace of anger, only gratitude for the protection given her. The question I asked myself was “Would I have handled the experience that way?”
Isaiah 41:13 came to thought which states “For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” She had to be praying along those lines as she traveled. We hear so much about “road rage” these days so I found this so very inspiring.
This morning I was thinking of all of the “Fear Not”s in the Bible and then I thought of the verses with “Fear God” and began to ponder. It suddenly occurred to me that meant to respect! We are supposed to respect God but not respect anything ungodlike and it made perfect sense to me. Immediately, I saw where the power behind us is always greater than the challenge before us. Isaiah 12:2 states “Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.”
This morning as I pondered the “full moon” I was reminded of the strong worldwide belief of fear during this time. Also, pregnant animals deliver their babies while numerous crimes are committed. It is easy to be pulled into that magnetic thought if we are not careful but when we realize there is only one God, the True all-powerful one, we can release that fear.
The amplified version of I John 4:18 reads “There is no fear in Love (dread does not exist), but full-grown (complete, perfect) Love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and (so) he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of Love (is not yet grown into Love’s complete perfection).” Praying with this verse brings peace.
In my lesson today, loving your enemies is talked about as in Matthew 5:44 which states “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” In that verse, there is no where that it says “some” but specifies “all”. In the past, it was easier for me to just avoid someone who had offended me or just “write them off” but I don’t think that is what the Bible means.
Actually, by loving someone who is not easy for me to love has given me much spiritual growth; so do we really have enemies? Below are two verses in the Hymnal which I refer to from time to time:
“Speak gently, it is better far To rule by love than fear; Speak gently, let no harsh word mar The good we may do here.
Speak gently to the erring ones, They must have toiled in vain; Perchance unkindness made them so; O win them back again.”
Today I will make a conscious effort to love everyone I meet.