Are your concerns turning into fear? You aren’t alone. Here are some reassuring words from veteran trip leader Jeff Bell on handling fear!
When we rolled into 2020, 4 1/2 months ago, none of us had any idea that words like pandemic, quarantines, shelter in place, flatten the curve, social distancing, zoom meetings … would become so common in our everyday vocabulary. But now here we are several weeks into a world-wide pandemic.
Students finishing the school year at home, teachers figuring out how to teach online – my wife is doing that. Depending on where you live, you might have to wear a mask when you go outside.
Here in California where I live, I am supposed to wear a mask when I go out in public. My neighbor, who is making masks for first responders, made me a cool one! People have lost jobs and businesses. The economy is a mess. You have likely had to miss out on some important stuff in your life – sport seasons, school activities that you were looking forward to, maybe senior activities, graduations. These times are certainly different than we could have pictured them just 5-6 weeks ago. And, we have no clue what’s going to happen next – when will this be over, will we ever get back to something we can call normal. Hopefully we will, there are some signs of moving on, but we can’t know yet what moving on will look like. So right now, we are stuck with all these concerns about the future.
So, the question is – what do we as followers of Christ do when those legitimate concerns become overwhelming and turn into fear? The times in my life that I have been most fearful were times when things around me were spinning out of control and I had no idea how to make any sense of it or what was going to happen next. Welcome to our world! When my concerns start to give way to fear, I try to remember four biblical truths that help me to regain the right focus:
God is in control … not me!
That same God who is in control … loves me and promises that he is with me!
Since God is in control … i don’t need to be.
Because God is in control … I can trust Him – and if I do, He will give me courage and peace in every sutuation!
Those sound simple! But they are not easy – because in order to take that approach I must live according to the truth that God does a much better job of being in control than I do. That is a hard one for most of us to deal with because of our pride and our desire to be in charge.
Maybe, these Covid 19 circumstances will remind us that some things are so far outside of our control – that we have no other option than to trust that God has it covered. Hopefully, by seeing that, we can also be encouraged to trust him with other aspects of our lives that might not be on the scale of a pandemic but are a big deal to us.
One of my favorite books of the bible is Joshua – In Joshua Ch. 1 – We read that Moses had died and God was calling Joshua to be the next leader of Israel, through some pretty rough days ahead. No matter how prepared Joshua may have been, he was likely afraid of what was coming next. I think that is why God gave him the same command four times – “Be strong and courageous.”
“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
That is the only thing that makes since to me at times that I am afraid… God is with me wherever I go – I can trust Him because He is in control! When I do that – He will give me peace and courage! Please know that our staff are praying for you! Please email us if we can be of help to you in any way.
There are more scriptures and some questions along with this video that might help you think more about any fears that you might be dealing with.
Also, I added some of my favorite songs from my NO FEAR playlist – that I listen to when I need to be still for a few minutes and take in a strong reminder of who is in control!