Crazy times, right? Schools and businesses closed indefinitely. Social distancing. Empty shelves at the grocery store. Fights over toilet paper. (Still don’t get that.) What in the world is going on?
People are afraid. They are afraid of not being able to feed their children. They are worried about how to pay their mortgage, child support, car payment and insurance or other bills when their place of employment has been shut down indefinitely. What is happening? What are people supposed to do?
I do not have any easy or pat answers. I don’t know the answer to all of the questions that people are asking. All I can tell you is what I DO know.
- I know that I can trust God with my life and with my needs. God has my life in His hands. Job 12:10 says, “In His hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind” (ESV). Jesus reminds us in Luke 12 that we cannot add a single hair to our heads or even one hour to our lives by worrying. He goes on to say that we should not worry about things like food or clothing (or toilet paper!). I can trust God to provide all that I need.
- I know that sickness happens because we live in a sin-fallen world. The moment Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, sin entered this world. With sin came sickness, death, fractured relationships, pain, disunity, toiling to exist, plus a host of other horrible things as well as the worst – separation from God. Sickness happens. My sister died unexpectedly at the age of 37 from a sickness. Multiple people in my family have fought cancer – myself included. Even though we cannot keep everyone in the world from getting sick, we can follow the guidelines being established to try to minimize the spread of COVID-19. But most importantly, I know that we can trust God through it all. He’s got this. He really does.
- I know that God can give you peace when you are anxious. Philippians 4:6-7 tells us everything we need to know: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (NIV). If you will go to Him with your worries, thanking Him for being in control and having your best interests at heart, He will help you keep your mind from wandering out of control and contemplating every “what if” out there. God’s peace in your heart and mind can be a beacon of light and hope to those drowning in anxiety.
- I know where I will spend eternity. Many people fear what will happen to them when they die. I honestly don’t fear death. Anyone who has had cancer has had to face their own mortality. So, yes, I’ve contemplated death more than once. My comfort comes from so many verses in the Bible that assure the follower of Christ where he or she will spend eternity. I think of John 3:16, 1 John 5:13, John 10:28, John 6:47, and so many more. The fact is, anyone who believes in the gospel of Jesus Christ will spend eternity in heaven with Him and with all those who have accepted Him. I will see my sister again one day! And my grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, uncles, and friends who were followers of Christ. Knowing that my eternity is secure in Christ removes any fear of death.
- I know that God does not want me to live in fear. Many people say that the Bible says “do not fear” 365 times. I cannot find an accurate source for this and I’ve never counted myself, but I can tell you this: it says it A LOT. There are many reasons that God does not want us to live in fear. But when you read all of the verses that tell us not to fear, a common reason emerges. I think Isaiah 41:10 sums it up pretty well: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (ESV). Why should we not fear? Because God. God is God. He will strengthen you. He will help you. He will uphold you. God does not want me or you to live in fear because He is God and we are not. One of my favorite verses is Psalm 56:3. It says, “When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.” Trust Him. He is trustworthy because He is God.
I hope that in these uncertain times, you will place your trust and hope in the One who IS certain, the One who is in control, the One who wants you not to fear but to trust Him.
Hear the words of the Apostle Peter in 1 Peter 5:7: “Casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you” (ESV).