Sailing away often sounds appealing to me. In fact, in one of my all-time favorite books, A Severe Mercy, has an entire section recounting the adventures at see that the author and his young wife experienced. It sounded romantic, not just in that “boy meets girl and falls in love type of way”, but in the “life is an adventure and should be experienced and not just lived” type of way. The sea seemed like a world without care. Once that boat pushed off from the dock, all the troubles were cast away too.
The analogy seems apt because the Bible says that “perfect love casts off fear” (I John 1:18, NKJV). While this verse is oft-quoted, it is only recently that I have begun thinking about the action verb associated with it. In my minds eye, I think I considered the verse to be saying, “perfect love supplants fear” or “perfect love is greater than fear.” But neither of these are in fact what God’s Word contains. It says “perfect love casts off fear.” Just like the boat pulls up anchor, casts off, and sails into the open sea, perfect love does away with the weight of fear. It not merely overrules it, it repels it entirely.
This is a concept difficult to grasp because fear, anxiety and worry is so embedded into our day-to-day life. From worrying that we won’t arrive on time, to fearing that we won’t be able to pay our bills, we are consumed with that which we can’t control. Love, and the rest that comes from God’s perfect love, renders this fear ridiculous. Just as the anchor has no place on a boat that’s sailing on the open sea, fear has no place in a life redeemed by God’s love. For if God’s love has overarching prevalence in our life, then it is absurd to be afraid of all that’s less than it
Casting off for the blue skies and tranquil waters is promised as the pathway to peace. Real peace comes from casting off fear and trusting in Christ’s love.