These are strange times, aren’t they? Every day the situation seems to get progressively worse and the panic starts to set in for more and more people. There are long lines at the grocery store, all sports are put on hold, restaurants are shutting down and churches are closing their doors. We have major stars and athletes getting infected and community spread has just begun. It almost feels like we are in a movie doesn't it? A movie we don’t want to be in. And when we put it all together like this and then add on the uncertainty of what the near future will look like there seems to be just one appropriate response – Fear.
There’s something interesting about fear – there will always be reasons for it to be present in your life. Right not, it’s this virus. But truth be known, we will all have other things to fear when this passes. We will fear never finding Mr. or Mrs. Right. We will fear a future without a loved one as their health gets worse and worse. We will fear a future where our 401K didn’t pan out like we thought it would.
Fear – or the reason to fear- is a constant.
But for followers of Christ – we can trust that there is no reason to fear. Did we read that correctly? THERE IS NO REASON TO FEAR!!!! Is there a reason to be smart? Yes! Is there a reason to listen to governmental officials? Yes! Is there a reason to use a ton of hand sanitizer? YES!!! But none of these are the solution to the fear starting to sink into the back of our minds.
The truth is we can stockpile hand sanitizer, bottled water and the all-important toilet paper and still feel fearful.
Why is this? Because external items were never meant to be the solution to our inward fear.
There’s a powerful passage found in Psalm 46. It says, God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Psalm 46:1-3
This scripture provides the imagery of chaos, violence and destruction. The earth giving way, the mountains falling and the seas roaring. It’s a picture despair. A picture of things being completely outside of our control.
But what makes Psalm 46 so encouraging in times like this is that the scene of chaos, violence and destruction is the exact scenario in which we are told not to fear. The assurance that we don’t need to fear didn’t come with a picture of sunny days, calm winds and chirping birds. No- the message to not fear came in the scenario where there are dozens of reasons to fear! It’s a message that though there are legitimate reasons to fear – the follower of Christ need not give in to that fear.
Why? Because our refuge is in the LORD. Our refuge is in the one who knows all and sees all. The One who is all powerful and all loving. The One stronger than the violence, chaos and destruction around us.
Our God was not caught off guard by this pandemic. He was not surprised when this virus began in that Chinese market and he wasn’t surprised when it made it into your county.
So as the days turn into weeks and the weeks turn into months – may remember that no matter how real this gets or how close to home this unpleasant movie becomes – those that find their refuge in God have no reason to fear.
So my encouragement is simple... Find a new way to seek refuge in God. In my house we are taking this time to help our kids memorize Psalm 46. What might you do? Find a study on YouVersion? Memorize Scripture? Find a new podcast or worship videos? Let’s get creative. Let’s use this time we have been given to seek refuge in our God!