So 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 (NIV)
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” ~Joshua 1:9
When I was young, I would sometimes be afraid at night. I would hear strange noises, or see weird shadows on the walls, and then frightening thoughts would flood my mind. I needed a way to feel safe in my bed, so I told myself that my sheet and/or blanket would protect me. I was convinced that if my covers were pulled up to my chin, I would be okay.
Did any of you ever do that? Or did you have another “trick” that protected you from imaginary night-time monsters? Wouldn’t it be great if we, as adults, could push our fears away, simply by getting in bed and pulling the covers up to our chin? Unfortunately, our grown-up fears aren’t always imagined. Sometimes, they are all too real.
I have friends who are dealing with serious health issues, such as cancer or heart disease. Hiding under the covers will not make their fears go away.
Sometimes I encounter people who are struggling financially and don’t know where they’re going to sleep, or where their next meal will come from. Some are single moms with added worries about their children. Hiding under the covers will not make their fears go away.
I know people who are facing major life changes, and a future that doesn’t look the way they imagined it would. Some are facing a future they can’t imagine at all. Hiding under the covers will not make their fears go away, either.
Each of us will face many things that frighten us throughout our lives, and hiding under the covers will not make those fears go away.
Today we are facing a global health crisis, and the days and weeks ahead are full of unknowns. People are afraid—afraid of the disease, afraid of it’s economic impact, and maybe even a little bit afraid of each other. Yes, we need to heed the warnings and make good choices, but we don’t want to let fear take control.
How can we face our fears and find the courage we need to be there for our neighbors in need? How can we step out from underneath the covers to show compassion and understanding to those whose fear has overwhelmed them? How can we find the strength we need to offer grace to those whose behaviors are causing harm to others? How can we live out our faith during this time of fear and uncertainty?
We can put our trust in God. We can remember the assurance given in Isaiah 41:10 when God says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God…”
We can also heed the words that Joshua shared with the Israelites, reminding them to be strong and courageous because God would be with them wherever they went.
God is here walking through this difficult time with us. If we allow Him to, He can ease our fears and guide us through the turmoil. Our Heavenly Father knows the way through the darkness—we just need to pull the covers down, set our sights on Him, and boldly follow.
Here’s a quote that’s a great reminder for me:
Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God. ~Corrie Ten Boom
Be blessed and be well, my friends.