Scientists have discovered that in photographing a black hole, which we can now do, it is possible to glimpse the entire universe bent into bands around it. Here on our tiny little planet earth, a black hole of despair has gripped our hearts in the form of a novel virus that is breaking out all over the world, and no one has any immunity against it. Yet around this black hole are bands of hope and glimpses of the kingdom of God that is greater than death and disease.
There is plenty of doom and gloom in the prognosis each day as cases and deaths mount. How long will this last? We don’t know. How bad will it get? We don’t know that either, except that it’s already pretty bad. So the big question is, “What do we do with the fear?”
Fear is not necessarily a bad thing. Fear performs a useful function. If you have a fear of heights, it should make you step away from the edge of the Grand Canyon if you should get too close. It would also keep you from doing something foolish like climbing over the protective railing just to see how close to the edge you could get.
In the same way, fear of contracting the coronavirus should keep us all following the suggested guidelines like social distancing and staying home except for absolutely essential trips outside the house. Maintaining safe practices is a way of not only protecting ourselves, but of caring for others so that we don’t become an unknowing carrier.
So when is fear not a good thing? When it rules you. When it overwhelms your ability to think rationally. When it freezes you. Fear is not good when it replaces our faith. Guard your heart so that fear is never bigger than faith. Peter says to not be frightened, “but in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.” (1 Peter 3:15) As long as Jesus fills our hearts, we will not be overcome with fear. Fear and Christ cannot fill the same heart because, “Perfect love casts out all fear.” (1 John 4:18)
So fear is good in its proper place as a means of being safe and caring for others. Just don’t let it rule your heart. And when it threatens to, turn your thoughts to Jesus. Worship Him. Set Him apart in your heart so there is no one and nothing greater than Him. Let Him fill your all in all and quiet your heart. He is your Lord and King. He will never leave you or forsake you. You are with Him now, and you will be with Him forever — never to be separated.
So what is the worst that could happen to you or me in this pandemic? We could get sick and die. So? Paul said, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21) Sounds like it’s Christ either way.
The Lord is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life — of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)