I have questioned a lot of things. Things about me, things no one would question. Purpose of Existence? Purpose of Living? After many twists and turns, I think I’m gradually getting an answer. Lately a friend was going through a distressing situation for which she needed psychological help. She was crippled by fear and incapacitated by terror because of series of nightmares she had, began unveiling themselves like the plot in a stage play.
I have been pensive throughout this pandemic, reflecting on a lot of things. How a miniature virus could just emerge out of nowhere and turn the world around. Affect leaders at the helm of affairs. Turn superior economies into rubbles of sand and dust that they realize the need to seek a call far greater than their own abilities and efforts.
People die with the whiff of air, and are infected with the passage of time. Health workers hesitate to tend to patients who have blazoning temperatures on thermometers by their bedsides. Debate to attend to subjects with coughs dancing in their perimeters. Calculate whether to intubate an inmate, who presents with severe difficulty in breathing; who has failed the tried mechanical means – in the absence of Personal Protective Clothing.
I was touched when I heard the news of an Iranian doctor, Shirin Rouhani who passed away as she kept treating coronavirus infected patients till her last breath. She stood her grounds even in the absence of the required number of medical staff and cared for fear-stricken, hope-hidden, bed-ridden, lungs- bitten sufferers of coronavirus to the point of death. She picked up her handset to a distressing call her willpower tried so hard to deafen. A beat so thundering, her stethoscopes could not shame. Cries so deafening, her eardrums could not tame.
Before this deadly virus hit Africa, there were untrue claims and memes that Africans were immune to this virus. It was however a wakeup call for us to weaken ties with neighboring and distant countries by closing our borders, and strengthen our laid back health care systems. A time for us to connect the dots which link us as a family related by a culture.
But then as it seems the world is in turmoil. Bush fires in Europe and the persistence of a pandemic which takes on a new shell every second. But as Christians, should we be fazed? Should we be catapulted in a whirl storm of constant uneasiness and abhorrence? Should we let fear predominate our thoughts and actions?
What is fear? The unpleasant feeling triggered by the perception of danger, real or imagined. It is that bad feeling you have when you are in danger or perceive something bad is about to happen. As we mature, we develop a better understanding of the world and its dangers. We learn to discern real threats from imagined ones. When fear comes, we do our best to think rationally and manage our emotions until the menacing situation passes.
It is normal to be afraid when your test comes out positive after being exposed to a COVID 19 infected patient. What do you do in these moments of fear? Do you let it cripple you, or it raises your head high that you come out strong and say “Not this time!”
The enemy uses fear to decrease our hope and limit our victories. There is nothing wrong with realistically acknowledging and trying to deal with the identifiable problems of life: unmet needs, conflict, health problems and dangerous situations. To ignore danger is foolish and wrong! But it is also wrong, as well as unhealthy, to be immobilized by excessive worry. Fear will cause us to buckle and settle for less than God’s best. It’ll cause us to disobey after diluting our trust in Him, and even when do stay strong, it’ll rob us of our peace and joy.
Remember the account of the Israelites in Exodus where they were surrounded by the brigade of Egyptians on chariots. God commanded to be fearless, to be still, to be watchful and finally be quiet. The Lord fought for them! “He looked down on the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud and brought the arm into confusion. He caused their chariot wheels to swerve, making them drive with difficulty and He covered the entire army of Pharaoh with the Red Sea, that not even one of them remained”
This is the power of our Great God. He expects us to leave no room to fear. Fear is a tool the devil uses against us to make us miserable and destroy our lives. It begins as a thought and then creates emotions that can rule us. It often becomes a strong, intense feeling that tries to move us to make a foolish action or tries to prevent us from doing something that would be good for us.
The Bible instructs God’s people many times to “fear not” For those who have the proper awe and respect for God and who strive to obey His commands, God makes some wonderful promises;
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” Isaiah 41:10
“He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” Deuteronomy 31:8
“Don’t fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine.” Isaiah 43:1
We do not face our fears alone. God created us and he knows each specific fear we have. He created our inmost being and knit us together in our mother’s womb. He will strengthen us in every situation and always for his glory. Whether it is the peace we find in his promises, or the confidence that our identity and worth comes from him and not in what we do, the Lord will give us the strength he promises. God is not reactive, but proactive in our lives. The power that raised Jesus from the dead is the same power that is at work in us by God’s Spirit.
And we do not need to fear tomorrow. God wants us to be filled with hope and trust, not fear. He has given us hope through the promise that he can uphold us by his strength today.
It is God who is with us, and he will strengthen us with his right hand. In his perfect way, he knows exactly what we need for every situation. In every situation, his righteousness will work for our holiness. He will be our strength.
Irrespective of the condition you find yourself, you need not to fear for God is with you!
Have a lovely Sunday!