I Choose Love. Beat it Fear!

Just the other day my attention was turned to a beautiful sight: The starlings were back! And though it was early April and the temperatures were still dipping below freezing at night, they were already beginning to nest in the posts that mark the corners of our wooden deck.

The starlings began this habit a few years ago. That first year, we had two separate families of birds raising their young in two of the corner posts. That year, only one nest of babies survived. A neighbourhood cat found the other nest and moved aside the flower pot that covered the top of the post. There were no survivors. We were sure that the surviving family of starlings would never return to these deadly grounds, but it was not so. They returned each year with a few of their friends, and last year, every one of our eight posts hosted a family of starlings. Naturally, we purchased some heavier flower pots, ones that we hoped the savage cat would be unable to move aside . . .

This reminded me of Matt 6:26: "Look at the birds of the air…" (NIV)

How much we can learn from birds!

This past year, I've been facing my own kind of nightmare. My own mother has been invaded by a vicious fear caused by her recent diagnosis of Alzheimer's and Lewy Body. As she lives on the other side of the planet, my first thought was to bring her over to Canada, the land of hockey and abundant snow. The only hindrance to this dream was immigration!

The only other option was to place her in a nursing home in the old country. These, however, were overflowing with people and each sported its own long waiting list.

All these troubles caused something unanticipated in my health: my sleeping patterns went crazy. Even though I was taking sleeping pills every night, I would wake up in the middle of the night and be unable to go back to sleep. In fact, though I wasn't immediate aware of this, it would be ardent fear gripping my heart each night that was keeping me awake.

But this didn't make sense! I am a Christian! Believers are not supposed to have any fear!

This lasted several months, until the day it occurred to me that I wasn't putting my faith in Jesus. I realized that faith and love cannot coexist. The Scriptures were clear on that!

"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…" (1 John 4:18 NIV)

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." (2 Tim 1:7 NKJV)

I recognized right then that I hadn't been learning the lessons that the starlings had been trying for years to teach me: I hadn't yet fully learned, in my soul, that Jesus is much greater than any of the problems we encounter: "The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." (1 John 4:4 NIV)

Although I had been praying passionately, I had been lured by my circumstances and I hadn't fully given Jesus my problems. I began claiming Matt 11:28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (NIV). I begged Jesus to help me to not take my worries back out of His hands (a speciality of mine!). I then realized that I must stop trying to force the issue with immigration.

Guess what happened the first night I did this?

I slept through the night, and I felt thoroughly refreshed in the morning. And, even better, I haven't had a fitful night since!

Interestingly, two days later, my mom was offered a place in a reputable nursing home in the old country. A real miracle! But what can you expect when you worship the Miracle Maker!

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." (Ps 91:1-2 NIV)

What happens to those who find shelter in the Most High?

"You will not fear the terror of night…" (Ps 91:5 NIV)

"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" (Matt 6:26 NIV)

Come on over! I may still have a nesting post available!

P. S. Choose love! Tell fear to beat it! We are indeed victorious in Christ! (See 1 Cor 15:57)

Rob Chaffart

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