As we continue to press forward during these days of unknown and worry, we all have become accustomed to hearing about anxiety and fear. Every news channel is offering suggestions on how to cope with anxiety. Supermarket CEO's are telling the American people to "relax, there will be more food coming!" Our national health care advisors are working 24/7 and giving us daily updates. Yet through all this, fear continues to escalate and anxiety continues its strangle hold on most people. All public gatherings are supposed to be limited to ten persons and domestic travel restrictions loom on the immediate horizon.
We are certainly faced each day with our share of media-induced frenzy while there is also the genuine fear of actual events. What happens if, as we move into Spring, we are hit with one of those tornadoes or devastating thunderstorms which blow all our trees down and cause us to loose all our power... while we are being self-quarantined?! There is no limit to genuine frightening realities that could occur and potentially might. Floods, fires, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes are all genuinely frightening. Diseases and viruses running amuck are genuinely frightening too. Oh yeah, loosing your retirement fund and the ever present fear of terrorism is frightening as well.
So how do we deal with all this fear and anxiety, whether fabricated by media or genuine by weather or disease? I guess I could say stop watching the news but I'm not sure that's helpful or good advice! We do need to stay informed. I think what is a better perspective now is to stay grounded in the proper kind of fear! What do i mean? The world is fearful and anxious about the wrong king of things. Economy, bank accounts, retirement funds, natural disasters, diseases like the coronavirus. But what the world doesn't seem to be very fearful of at all is God. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 10:28? Don't fear the one who can take your life here in this world, rather fear the one who can take your soul and condemn it for all eternity! God can destroy both body and soul. The world can only take away our life, our earthly life. The author of Hebrews tells us that it is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God! (Hebrews 10:31)
We need to keep our perspective on genuinely healthy fear in these days. For those who have placed their trust and confidence in Christ and not the flesh, we have nothing to fear from this world or man. War, famine, terrorism, diseases, viruses, economic collapses, tornadoes, floods are all under the control of our sovereign Father in Heaven. Keep your eyes on Christ... not the waves.
Saint Augustine said in his book entitled "City of God" (which incidentally was written as a response to a national crisis), "Among the daily chances of this life every man on earth is threatened in the same way by innumerable deaths, and it is uncertain which of them will come to him. And so the question is whether it is better to suffer one in dying or to fear them all in living." (1.11)
That is pretty good advice! Let's not suffer every single way to die as we live! Our lives are already determined by God. (Psalm 139:16) Let's remember Paul's admonition to us in Philippians 4:6-7. Let's pray and give thanks during this time as we bring all our requests before Him. Remember, praying is actually an act of faith and anytime we act out in faith He leads us to the peace that passes our understanding!