If you’re not afraid right now, then just check the news. Plenty of horrific happenings this year while tempers are hot, triggers are happy, and trust is in short supply.
And, lest we forget, 220,000 fellow Americans have already died from a deadly virus.
How do we live in this world so full of things to fear?
- Refuse to keep up with the news, hoping it will go away?
- Cringe every time one a loved one goes to the airport?
- Keep our kids inside for the rest of their lives?
- Seek the Lord?
“I sought the Lord and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34.4
Friend, I refuse to live in fear! Because every time we give in to fear, Satan wins. “Fear is your enemy’s best weapon. He uses it skillfully and often to great effect. Fear and its offshoots—worry and anxiety—are like a wildfire, encroaching on every area of your life and leaving destruction in its wake. Fear eats its way into your emotions, robbing you of the peace and rest God intends for you. Fear burrows into your relationships and colors your interactions with those you love. Fear robs your body of its vigor, and occupies your thoughts, and monopolizes your attention. Fear hijacks your life.” (Jennifer Kennedy Dean, “Live a Praying Life Without Fear”)
The antidote? Well, there are at least 365 verses in the Bible saying some version of “Do not fear.” That would be a great start – claiming God’s peace, presence, and power through the promises in His Word. Sometimes it helps to do it whilst singing hymns loudly:
Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
By the living Word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God. (Kelso Carter 1886)
There are tangible, just plain smart things we can do to stay safe in these “unprecedented times.” Do them. I have also discovered that taking time for solitude and stillness quiets my mind and heart as well as calming my body. As I pray and focus on who God is I remember that He is in control.
When despair grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
– Wendell Berry
I’ve been around long enough to know several dear friends who have lived through their worst fears happening. And you know what? They survived. “The key to living without fear is not in believing that nothing fearful will happen, but that nothing will happen apart from God’s intervening grace. Nothing will happen without the hand of God in control, filtering out what will destroy, softening the full force of the blow, and bringing a result that could not be accomplished any other way.”
When fear strikes (and it will) we must seek the Lord for deliverance. Here is a prayer I often use:
“Most loving Father, whose will it is for us to give thanks for all things, to fear nothing but the loss of You, and to cast all our care on You who cares for us: Preserve me from faithless fears and worldly anxieties, that no clouds of this mortal life may hide from me the light of that love which is immortal which You have manifested to us in Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” (Divine Hours)
under the mercy, Lucinda
“Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength”
©2020 Lucinda Secrest McDowell
Lucinda Secrest McDowell is a storyteller and seasoned mentor who engages both heart and mind while “Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength.” She has authored 15 books including “Soul Strong – 7 Keys to a Vibrant Life” and “Life-Giving Choices – 60 Days to What Matters Most.” She writes from “Sunnyside” cottage in New England and shares encouragement at LucindaSecrestMcDowell.com
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