If You are Afraid

Sunrise. Hope. Always hope.

I felt it rising up in the pit of my stomach. Anxiety. Fear. The what-if’s poured over me in waves and I struggled to catch my breath.

I expressed it to my husband, the tension and struggle that fought within me.

For days I had shrugged Coronavirus off as hype, saw the reaction of our world as a grand over-reaction and shook my head in frustration at the inconvenience this was causing.

Then it hit us. Cancelled plans. A week for which my son had worked for months, his team’s national basketball tournament. Gone.

Tears. And the seniors? Their year ended like a dead firework: up, up, up, anticipation, joy, then…nothing. Kaput. The same story resonated throughout the nation. Kids in limbo. Parents wrestling with broken plans and hijacked schedules. Many wondering how they are going to pay bills if they can’t go to work.

The fear began to overwhelm me and I looked, wild-eyed, at the children flanking me on the sofa and wondered what does this mean for them?

The what-if’s of today can be overwhelming. The world has, very suddenly, been turned upside-down and our children, if the Lord tarries, have to grow up in a society that exists post-Coronavirus. A new normal. A world filled with hand-sanitizer and the need to ask permission before giving that old friend a much-needed hug. I grieve for them.

(Let me be clear: This is not to dismiss the very real grief of those who have lost loved ones to the virus. Not at all. But we do, in our own way, grieve.)

We feel stranded, more that ever, in a world that is not our home.

The church is forced out of her walls and we have to figure out what to do now. Do we cocoon and wait it out? Do we take a holy nap with all this newfound free time? Binge on Netflix? Read? Cook?

Or do we venture outdoors and check on our neighbor? Maybe we drive into town and visit the widow and orphan because, I can assure you, they are in distress. The hungry and forgotten will only grow more so in times like this if we don’t do what God has called us, as the body of Christ, to do.

We sang a song yesterday. (Yes, our church met in person…maybe for the last time for quite a while. Words cannot describe how much I treasured that sweet hour.) We sang 100 Billion X by Hillsong Worship and the beautiful words of truth flooded my spirit and quieted my soul.

The lyrics…a celebration of the God of Creation, the God who is worshipped every moment of every day by the very creation He formed with a word. A Creation that is not spiraling out of control as the world would have us believe, but is still very much under His loving authority…virus or no virus. A creation that groans in anticipation of the coming redemption promised by the Scriptures. Oh, how we long for things to be set right. How we grieve the brokenness that is evident in our disease-ravaged world.

Friends, COVID-19 is not a surprise to our God. He has placed us here for such a time as this. He stands sovereign, outside of space and time, looking upon the timeline of History as now. He sees the past, present and future all at once and we can trust Him. He is good. He is love.

He wastes nothing in the lives of those who belong to Him.

So, I need to ask you now…do you belong to Him? Do you have a hope for beyond this life? Should the worst-case scenario play out, are you assured that there is a room waiting for you in Heaven?

If you are not, please reach out. You can comment on this post or message me at alifeofsimplejoys@gmail.com. I am here in the battle with you, fighting to focus on truth and push aside the lies. Struggling to understand why this is happening but standing on the promises of God…that the heavens declare His glory, that He is bringing beauty from ashes and maybe, just maybe, there will be a wave of revival sweeping the world as we come to grips with the futility of life as we have known it.

The God of Creation loves you so very much. Beyond comprehension.

And as You speak

A hundred billion failures disappear

Where You lost Your life so I could find it here

If You left the grave behind You so will I

I can see Your heart in everything You’ve done

Every part designed in a work of art called love

If You gladly chose surrender so will I

I can see Your heart Eight billion different ways

Every precious one A child You died to save

If You gave Your life to love them so will I

Lyrics from 100 Billion X by Hillsong Worship

And who will harm you if you are deeply committed to what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear or be disturbed, but honor the Messiah as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.

1 Peter 3:13-15 (HCSB-emphasis mine)

We have this hope as an anchor for our lives, safe and secure.

Hebrews 6:19a (HCSB)

God has prepared the promise for us.

Now He is preparing US for the promise. *

*See the Tony Evans Bible Commentary for more insight on Hebrews 6. (Available at most Christian retailers and online) I promise you will be encouraged.


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