Fear Factor: 2021 Edition

If you want to find things to be fearful of these days, you don’t have to look very far. As one friend put on Facebook, gas prices were the scariest part of Halloween this year! The world is nuts, everything is on fire, and our clothes are too tight. Just me? But seriously, it is reasonable to have some anxiety with all that’s going on around us.

I have several friends who are new moms. How paralyzing it must feel to have a brand new baby in Covid world when every visitor is a potential threat to your helpless infant’s little immune system. Or conversely, my elderly neighbors who live in constant fear of catching the virus, with good reason! The vaccine isn’t stopping the spread and with efficacy waning around five to six months, isolation seems to offer the only real protection until they can get their boosters. What do you do when you’re scared to go to the grocery store or to allow loved ones into your home? Do you just give up on in-person relationships forever and hope you really like the people you live with? I think of people all alone in nursing homes and it breaks my heart.

For others, fear of the virus pales in comparison to the ruinous politics and godless ideologies taking hold of our nation one freedom-crushing finger at a time. They see the writing on the wall as the government grows bolder and bolder under the guise of “helping” Americans. These people fear that the altruism of all the “free” being handed out isn’t actually free at all. They are afraid it will cost citizens their freedom, their voice, and their choice (and I’m not talking about killing babies). They don’t want an America where parents are told to be quiet and step back so the government can indoctrinate their children. And they are afraid that when they stand up for their rights as Americans, they will be viewed as the enemy.

Both fears are valid. Most of us tend to lean more one way or another, but we all know someone who’s been really sick this past year. We also have all seen the government portraying lies as truth and trying to mandate that everyone else get on board, beaver’s house the consequences.

If you’ve ever read my blog before, you know where I stand. I don’t need people to agree with me but I will stand for my right to hold to my convictions. And I will stand for your right to hold to yours unless your convictions harm children. Fair?

My goal here is not to point out our differences but rather to put the focus on our similarities. Here are a few I can think of:

• We all want to protect our families.

• We all want to feel we are doing the right thing.

• We all want everyone to be healthy and for life to go back to normal.

• As Christians, we want to make sure we are honoring the Lord.

As someone who struggled a bit with anxiety before, now it is especially important to seek out God’s heart and plan in all this mess. It’s hard to focus with the constant doomsday announcements literally at our fingertips day and night. So many “what if’s” steal our joy and our peace and leave us in a perpetual state of fight or flight. Not good for the soul.

I know I’m not alone in this struggle against the “what if’s”. I see it in the faces of people I come across every single day (well, half of their faces).

Fear causes us to act and think (and speak!) in ways we normally wouldn’t. It is wise to have a healthy fear of that which could hurt us, but when fear become the chief operating system by which we approach everything and everyone, disaster is sure to follow.

God never meant for us to live this way.

And the enemy is having a field day.

While I think it is important to be aware of what’s going on in the world, there comes a point where we make the wisest decisions we can based on the facts and then we just have to trust that God’s got us. Easier said than done, I know. But we have to try.

Covid isn’t going away. Crooked politicians and godless philosophies will march on, unaffected and uncaring towards the suffering in this world. And who knows what 2022 will bring?

Here’s what we do:

Psalm 37:3-9 NLT
[3] Trust in the LORD and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. [4] Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires. [5] Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you. [6] He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun. [7] Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. [8] Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper- it only leads to harm. [9] For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the LORD will possess the land. …

And also..

Psalm 37:23-25 NLT
[23] The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. [24] Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand. [25] Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread.

We stay rooted in God’s word . We refuse to be controlled by fear and we do good to others. We trust. We obey. A virus doesn’t give most of us a pass card to retreat from the world indefinitely. A corrupt government doesn’t free us to condemn people. Fear doesn’t give us carte blanche to hate those who think differently than we do. God’s commands don’t get shelved until life goes back to normal.

Normal isn’t guaranteed.

God’s faithfulness is.

Let’s start living like we believe that.

Angela

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