«Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced His perfect love» (1 John 4:18, NLT).
I have taken driving lessons twice in life: first in Argentina, and then when I moved to England (because here you drive «the other way around,» on the left hand side). One of my driving instructors was usually quite patient with me. However, once in a while she would get mad and make sarcastic comments when I did not know how to do something, or when I did not maneuver correctly. «Do you mean to tell me you do not know how to check the oil level of your motor?» she would ask me in a horrified tone of voice. «How can you possibly not manage to do this maneuver?» It seemed like my instructor expected me to know everything ahead of time, even before she taught it to me! She expected everything to go perfectly on my first try. We are often afraid of trying to do new things because we believe God is like that driving instruction. However, all our mistakes are covered by Christ’s grace.
In his article «All Your Mistakes Are Covered,» Christian author Graham Cooke describes it this way: «God knows when you do something for the first time, you are going to make a mistake. The fascinating thing with Him is He doesn’t call it a mistake, He calls it learning because He knows you haven’t done it before.» God is not a severe and impossible to please schoolmaster. When we have the courage to go ahead and try something new, when we navigate in unexplored waters, He cheers and encourages us. His grace is precisely what gives us the courage to move forward and know we are loved whether our plans succeed or fail. His unconditional love is the safety net that encourages us to jump toward the unknown like a trapeze artist.
God is the humblest, kindest, most compassionate Teacher we have ever known, He does not pressure us with unrealistic expectations. Nor does He make fun of us when we make mistakes. He does not become impatient when it takes us a while to do something. On the contrary! He encourages us, saying, «Dear daughter, I love you and My grace covers everything you lack. I see not only who you are right now, but also who you will become. I see you shining in My presence. I see you being courageous and victorious. Do not fear, I know who you really are.»
Dear Lord, Your perfect love casts out fear from my heart. Because there is a net of grace protecting me, today I can take a risk, try new things and change.