This time in history has revealed quite a lot about ourselves, hasn’t it? One thing I have noticed and want to write about is fear. It seems that fear is a major driver of people’s decisions during the pandemic. Fear can take many forms, is very sneaky in its ability to wind up in our heads and hearts, and paralyzes some while causing others to overreact. In short, throughout the last few months and what seems more than ever in my lifetime, I’ve witnessed fear drive many people’s decisions and actions.
I’ve had some people openly share with me their great fear regarding this unknown virus. The fear of getting this virus, or the fear of transmitting it to others, has resulted in more than just a healthy respect for Covid-19. Their minds have created a paralyzing fear that has consumed people’s thoughts, causing some to completely isolate instead of cautiously connecting with friends and family.
I’ve had others share with me that they fear all the changes occurring. For some, there is a fear when we change our daily and weekly routines. Changing how one does grocery shopping, how our kids go to school, and how we hold our weekend worship services can cause great fear for some. They’d rather throw caution out the window and risk unnecessary exposure than make any changes to their schedules and habits.
Others have shared with me the fear they feel surrounding the upcoming elections. The divisive and nasty rhetoric that is so prevalent in politics has created a fear that can drive some to apathy and others to being politically consumed.
When I look around, I see a lot of us giving in to our fears.
Please remember this: as followers of Jesus we have an Almighty Father and a great Shepherd we can trust and to whom we can surrender our lives. Completely. The pandemic, the changes, the election, all of it!
While this time of unknown and uncertainty has surfaced many emotions for us, I’d like to encourage you to pause and take a few minutes to identify what fears you may have. Then I’d like to encourage you to spend a few minutes reading the scriptures below and handing your fears over to The One who offers us peace.
- I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. (Psalm 34:4-5)
- Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)
- The disciples went and woke him (Jesus), saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. They were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” (Matt 8:25-27)
- God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea. (Psalm 46:1-2)
- Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)