Friday, July 11, 2008

Love > Fear

The other day I had one of those moments that remind me why I do youth ministry in the first place. At the moment I'm emotionally and mentally preparing to head to Latvia on a mission trip...and I'm scared. Yeah, I'll admit it. I'm frightened by the idea of having 13 high school kids' lives in my care. I'm even more frightened by not knowing what I'll be eating over there (I have some serious food allergies, and while I know that I'll mostly be eating meat and bread, it's serious enough to be worried). While I am eagerly anticipating trip, there is also a sense of anxiety, or fear.

So when I read a brief Facebook comment from one of my former students in Portland, it took me aback. He wrote this short message:
I was talking with this person who was kinda going through a hard time and I got to share a verse that I had heard from you like 2 years ago. 1 John 4:18, it was really great.

The verse he wrote about says this: There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

At a moment when I'm experiencing fear about the unknowns of Latvia, a student from the past casually reminds me of something I told him two years ago--that God's perfect love drives out fear, that we have nothing to be afraid of when we're in God's love. When I read this, I thanked God for bringing to mind the truth about who He is and how much He loves me. And I'm pretty stoked that God used some random verse I talked about two years ago to not only transform this student's life, but transform my own as well. This is why I do youth ministry--God transforms young people to be more like Jesus, and along the way, I get transformed too.

I love my job!

2 comments:

  1. Besides the fact you will have my daughter in your care, I will be praying for you and Katie daily. That the Lord will strengthen you so that you will not become weary and that there will be a net of protection surrounding all you encounter. Thanks for being faithful servants!

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  2. As for the food in Latvia...to be honest...it's fairly bland. I just remember a lot of meat, potatoes, bread, and tomatoes. I don't remember a lot of sauces where peanuts could get in, so I think you'll be fine, but there's also a McDonalds right in the main square so you can always survive off of that. I'm so jealous! I hope you guys have a blast. Also, if anyone offers you kefirs, don't drink it...it's nasty! :) Oh, and one last thing...buy Katie some pretty amber jewlery there...it's the best in the world.

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