We were sitting together listening to the latest Presidential News Conference. Whether we like/approve/vote for whoever is the President … he is in fact who he is. And it was when he finished his opening remarks followed by statements from each of his major support staff that my daughter started crying without warning. With tears running down her cheeks she exclaimed, “I am just so afraid … afraid of this COVID-19 Virus!”
She was afraid for her family, for her parents and for so many others! The need for protective masks, gloves, quarantine is a shock to the mind of so many, if not all including our medical personnel and first responders!
Can you identify with her statement? Of course you can! We all can! We have loved ones, friends, brothers and sisters in Christ … all facing the same enemy! And this enemy is not a respecter of persons!
We have friends, family and brothers and sisters in Christ who have placed themselves in harms’ way to do what they have been trained to do! Are they are afraid … absolutely!
Will the scientist, the researchers, those involved in the prediction, the strategies, and the sheer magnitude of the logistics … be able to do enough?
Generation after generation of mankind has found itself confronted by something or someone that threatened the normalcy of life … that threatened to hurt those they loved and cared for so much … that threatened even to take so many lives!
We can read the daily reports on the death toll around the world and the dangers our brethren are facing, even as we are now seeing them up close and personal in our own backyards!
Perhaps this would be a good time for each one of us to ask ourselves: “How do we reach that point in our hearts where we learn to truly trust God with the fears we have and that loom so large at such a time as this?
Remembering that our Heavenly Father is the One who made us and “that He understands our frame” (Psalm 103:14) … He knew … yes, He knew … there would be times in our lives when we would be afraid! Afraid … not just of noises in the night, but noises in our world … sounds that are ominous … sounds that are just plain scary!
And so, we find the words the Apostle Peter wrote to brethren long ago facing imminent persecutions, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence, by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature …” (2 Peter 1:3-4),
These are words of reassurance that are so appropriate for such a time as this!
May I share with you just a few of so many passages from God’s Book that were inspired by our Heavenly Father and preserved for our comfort and reassurance?
“Give all your worries to Him, because He cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:7, NCV)
“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:21-23, ESV)
“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” (Psalm 27:13-14, NKJV)
“Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You in the presence of the sons of men!” (Psalm 31:19, NKJV)
May I offer these short observations?
- It will take each of us more than just will power to allay our fears!
- No one is immune to experiencing fear at some time or another in their life!
- We must learn how to cultivate in our hearts and in those we love and care for HOPE and put our fears to flight!
- We must call to mind the fact that God’s steadfast love for each one of us NEVER ceases, even when Satan would have us to believe otherwise!
- We must call to mind that His mercies to us NEVER come to an end, even as the evil one will lie over and over to us!
- We must call to our minds that if we are permitted to rise up and live a new day that every single morning, “God has new mercies for us” … even when the great deceiver would give us another message to hear and accept!
- Because of His unwavering “faithfulness” … which by the way Satan also knows about, understands and he will stop at nothing to divert our attention away from … this truth of God from God will help to stabilize and balance our hearts, minds, and lives!
- We should not fear the future, but rather fear God and make His presence our refuge!
So … does all of this mean Christians will not get sick from this virus? No, there are already some across our country and throughout the world who already are! We cannot just bury our heads in the sand and pretend it’s not happening!
But, rather we need to bow our heads and lift up our eyes to the Lord and lay before His throne our concerns, fears, and the very real need we have for strength, courage, wisdom, and faith to face whatever might happen in our lives and in the lives of those we love!
No, life is not always fair! It never has been … it never will be! But what gives us hope … yes, hope … is the assurance from our Heavenly Father there is something waiting on the other side of “the valley of the shadow of death” that far surpasses anything this world could ever offer!
Every day has two things that accompany its arrival: the first is trouble; the second is the grace, power, strength, and courage from God to overcome that trouble … any trouble!
In visiting with a good friend recently this statement was offered, “I bet prayers are being offered by a lot of people. We need God.” Yes, my good friend, we do! We must always remember that only God can turn things around … or allow things to continue because of His sovereign rule!
“The Lord looks down from heaven; He sees all the children of man; from where He sits enthroned He looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth …” (Psalm 33:13-14).
These are challenging times we are living in … ripe with fear, dread and a not-knowing uncertainty that can chill our souls. The Bible assures us that at all times our God is with us! He … our Heavenly Father … is our Comforter, Healer, Provider and the Great Physician who truly knows better than we do!
Back to the beginning of this novel we go. “Yes” to my daughter, “I am afraid too! I am afraid for my children, my grandchildren, my wife, my extended family, my friends, my brethren and for all those I love and care about so much! I don’t want any of them to get sick from this virus either!”
WHEN FEAR KNOCKS AT YOUR DOOR … AND IT WILL IF IT HASN’T ALREADY … SEND FAITH TO ANSWER!
One of my favorite baseball players who truly is a legend named Yogi Berra was quite the catcher who not only knew how to catch, pitch, hit and throw a baseball, he also had a penchant for making interesting observations that could make you scratch your head … rub your chin … and often chuckle when you got it. Here’s one for your consideration as we work our way through these troubled and uncertain waters: “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.”
Ask the Lord to help YOU become a person who holds to the promises of God … not the panic of this world!
Bill Fairchild, Jr.