Ethan walking down the steps to our house with me. Ethan, his sister Grace, and their mother live at Refuge Ranch where their mother is on staff.
The coronavirus pandemic is having a major effect on every one of us in a variety of ways, from impacting our normal schedules and activities to affecting what we can purchase because of shortages of essential items. We can’t keep from thinking about the pandemic…a lot! It’s easy to worry at a time like this; it’s difficult to experience any measure of peace at a time like this.
Much is being said about the symptoms that indicate a person might have the coronavirus. There’s a symptom, however, that many of us exhibit concerning the coronavirus even though we most likely don’t have the virus. That symptom is fear.
Fear can be good. A healthy fear of the virus prompts us to take appropriate precautions and actions that can help protect us and also contribute to the containment of the virus.
This symptom of fear, however, can also be bad. Fear can distract us from focusing on our normal daily activities that continue to need our attention. Fear can be debilitating, the anxiety reaching a level of panic at this pandemic. Fear can weaken our faith in God, distancing us from Him.
I’d like to remind us of an available vaccine that can be helpful, not for the pandemic itself, but for the pandemic-inspired fear that can infect our mind, heart, and soul. Just as a vaccine often uses a very small dose of the actual disease to fight the infection, I’d like to suggest how a proper small dosage of fear can be used as an antidote to fight the big fears that infect us.
Picture a small child, a toddler, facing a bunch of steps that he wants to go down. He’s old enough to fear falling head over heels if he attempts to go down the steps. He uses his fear to prompt him to reach out for the hand of the adult who is alongside him. Reaching up, he grasps the big hand of the adult that’s reaching down. He has the same fear of the steps, that has not gone away, but now he confidently takes the steps because he is holding on to someone bigger than himself in whom he has faith. What he doesn’t even realize is that the adult’s grip on him is far greater than his grip on the adult!
The symptom of fear that we exhibit in confronting the coronavirus can be used to prompt us to reach out our hand in faith to grasp the hand of God that is reaching down to us! And to realize that our weak grip of faith is enough, for His grip on us is far stronger! No matter what we face, no matter what will happen, He will be with us, and in the ultimate sense, it will be okay! We can have peace in this pandemic!
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me…” King David in Psalm 23:4a