Folks are trying to hold it together, but the fear is visibly palpable. It’s March 2020 and we’re at the beginning of the COVID19 (coronavirus) pandemic and life as we know it, at least for the present time, is rapidly changing. And, things are going to be different. Mandatory school and non life-essential business closings, bare supermarket shelves and people walking around in hospital masks are now the norm. “Social Distancing”, the physical act of keeping about 6’ of distance between each other to prevent the transmission of the virus, is an everyday practice. For the most part, the majority of us are just trying to lead normal lives, but the overwhelming sense of “what’s next” is on everyone’s mind. People are afraid for their jobs, their kids, their loved ones, their money, their future and just about everything else that on a normal day may have been a passing thought and dealt with on a topical level. Not now though. It’s become a pervasive worry and the uncertainty of it all is causing stress on a monumental scale. Fear is the new norm.
For believers, it’s no different. We feel the fear, the trepidation, the uncertainty and we worry about the same things everyone else does. The difference is we know that in a world “out of control”, there is one constant…one thing that is “in” control. The one entity that will not “leave us or forsake us”. One unchanging being that knows how we feel, loves us in spite of it and provides the comfort only a Father can provide. God is that entity.
I recently read an Instagram posting where a woman wrote that the only thing we should be doing about the coronavirus is panicking. Her elderly mother was going through chemotherapy and with her compromised immune system and the coronavirus at our doorstep, she believed that panicking would be the only thing we could do that would get the attention of “those in charge” to do something to flatten out the rising curve of the epidemic. I felt so very sorry for her. To feel so out of control that her first response was to panic in an effort to make others take note of the gravity of the situation made me grieve for her life and her spirit. How very sad…
In the bible, Mark, chapter 4, Jesus and his disciples were in a boat during a violent wind and rainstorm, the waves crashing over the bow. His disciples were, in a word, freaking out. Jesus however, was asleep in the front of the boat and they were incredulous. They woke Him and said, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” Jesus calmly got up, rebuked the wind, rain and waves and said “Quiet! Be still!” The foul weather immediately died down and it became completely calm. He then turned to his disciples and said “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
Our faith should reflect that even in the midst of utter calamity, of what on the surface appears to be a possible disastrous and catastrophic future, we hold steadfast to that one calm constant. We look to the one thing that remains peaceful and still and provides love and comfort, even in the face of possible death to those who love Him. You’ll notice I said, “Should”. Is it sometimes difficult? Yes. Can it produce doubt? Yes. But, those who sincerely love Him come back to Him. We come back to the Father because that is where those still waters are found. Remember the boat?
The future is uncertain. That is for sure. All we can do is pray that while God’s will is done, He continues to protect and provide for His sons. And, we are all His sons. Our walk on this earth is temporary and as we go about our daily lives, we must be a reflection to others, who may not believe, of the very thing in which we find solace. Allow the fear to be your strength, allow it to motivate you to now do better. Look to help others in any way possible so people can ask themselves, “What does this person have that makes them behave this way, to walk without fear?” The words “Do Not Be Afraid” are repeated in the bible approximately 365 times…an everyday reminder of where we should place our faith. It is not about us now; it is about all of us. And, it starts with you. Crush the fear.