There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. (1 John 4:18 NRSV)

Many of us are afraid of dogs. It is a common fear. The scientist Louis Pasteur was far more frightened of dogs than most people. Even a distant bark would terrify him. In his mind he could still see a mad wolf which raged through his boyhood village bringing agony and death to many of his neighbors. "I have always been haunted by the cries of those victims," he said time and again. Yet in 1882, past the age of 60, Pasteur gave up all his other studies in an intense search for a cure for rabies.

For three long years, in spite of his deep-seated fears, he risked his life living with mad dogs. At last he came through with a vaccine to cure the victims of rabies. On a July night in 1885 he tried the first injection on a little boy whose life seemed doomed. The boy lived. The remembered agony of his neighbors spurred Louis Pasteur to find a cure for this dread disease.

What will we do with our fears?

Dear God, help me to turn my fears into something good for your people. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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