No Time for Fear

Perhaps only slightly less potentially harrowing than an actual pandemic is the fear of one. The sky outside is a beautiful, bright blue, spring is in the air, we are blessed to live in one of the most prosperous countries on earth (if not *the* most prosperous, which it probably is by all counts), and we enjoy bountiful religious, political, and social freedoms and liberties, but switch on the TV or turn on the radio or check your phone or open a newspaper (yes, those still exist) and one is hit with an almost unstoppable barrage of news and speculation about the COVID-19 coronavirus. Anyone who hasn’t heard about it yet is either very intensely focused or has been on a total media fast or simply has his or her head buried in the sand, figuratively if not literally,

So what did I think about when I was taking my daily walk on Monday to the mailbox on a beautiful day in early spring? You guessed it: the coronavirus epidemic, and the paradox of breathing nothing but fresh country air as I thought about it. If we let ourselves, our thoughts can almost become consumed and overwhelmed by the news of the spreading virus. What would Jesus do? Well, no doubt He’d probably be laying hands on all of the sick people He could get to and watching them instantly recover. But He also wouldn’t let His mind be troubled with the news of the coronavirus; in fact, I believe that He’d be taking His rightful spiritual authority over it. But my point, for the moment, is really this: we should not, and cannot, let our hearts or minds be troubled, either, about whatever the news of the day is, or be diverted from the mission and the purpose that He has put us on this earth to accomplish. The work of the Kingdom of God need not, and should not, get suspended because of a public health crisis, or the fear of one. (I’m not saying that there isn’t a very real one right now, because I believe that there is, or that we don’t need to walk in wisdom and take proper and sensible and appropriate health precautions, because we should.)

In Luke 21:26, we read these words of Jesus: “... men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth”. (NKJV) What is happening on the earth right now, in the form of the coronavirus epidemic or pandemic, is causing many to be sick, but it is also causing many more to walk in unnecessary fear and dread. We need not be swept up in, or succumb to, this irrational and paralyzing fear. “The Greater One lives within us.” (1 John 4:4) Put your entire faith, hope, and confidence in Him. And use the godly wisdom that He has given you to victoriously and joyfully continue to go about your daily life that is a gift from Him. And lift up  in prayer those who are sick and suffering. In Jesus’ Mighty Name. Amen.
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