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 NRSV)
A family once had a backyard pool. It was an above-ground pool without a shallow end. There were life-jackets for the young children who had not yet learned to swim. Some friends were visiting and the children were bobbing in the middle of the pool having a great time. All except one little fellow who was holding on for dear life to the edge. He was frightened and cold. "Hand over hand he went around the edge only occasionally letting go with both hands for a terrified instant." He was so afraid that he was crying.

"Why can they do it, and I can't?" the little boy asked his mother.

"Oh honey," his mother replied, "It's only that you are afraid. Soon you won't be afraid any more."

"Really!" he said excitedly. "You mean if I'm not afraid I can do what they can do?"

"Yes," she told him, "they aren't doing anything. They are just letting the water hold them up."

The little boy was quite relieved and before too long was out in the middle of the pool with the rest of the children having a wonderful time. The next day his mother again took him to the pool. As soon as they got there the little boy went into the water. "He stood in the water for about five minutes," his mother remembers, "and then threw himself in head first."

What fear do you need to let go of?

Dear God, help me to conquer my fears, so that I may more fully serve you. Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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