Negotiating Fear

There have been many things to negotiate during this pandemic and quarantine. I named some of them in my last two posts and in a Facebook post a few days ago.

A daily dose of perspective — OTHER THINGS are going on besides Covid. Yep, you heard it first here. You might not believe it if you scroll down your feed, but it’s true. Many things I’ve read recently have contributed to this loss of perspective so I thought I would remedy this today.

I want to speak especially to three things. Unemployment, mental health, and other physical health issues. There are also, of course, issues of social justice, but I’m not qualified to speak to those so I won’t. I have seen many posts telling people to buck up since Covid is the only thing that matters. It’s not. I’ve also seen posts saying that people can die from Covid. Of course, they can, but they can die from other things too. Don’t believe me?

If you are hungry and can’t buy food because of unemployment, you can die. If you have suicidal thoughts (mental health) from being isolated for too long and act on them, you are dead. (Isn’t that what the definition of suicide is?) By the way, I had suicidal thoughts back in March and April and thought it would be much better if I wasn’t around. (You might still think so. 🙂 ) I had to fight my way through them on my own, and it wasn’t pretty or pleasant. Finally, there are people with other physical health issues. If they are afraid to go to the hospital to get treatment because of Covid, they can die. 

Isn’t that what it all boils down to? Fear. We are afraid. Don’t bother denying it. We are afraid, and for my Christian brothers and sisters, we are afraid even though we are told not to be by Scripture. 

I’m stopping the quote here because this is the promised further exploration of fear. When we first started hearing of Covid in March which resulted in several states shutting down, I wasn’t afraid of getting Covid. Maybe, I should have been, but I wasn’t. I was more worried about what the shape of my mind would be when we came out of isolation. The voices I hear in my head because of my depression and anxiety are more prominent when I’m isolated, and there was no telling how long we would have to be at home. I also knew there were Scripture verses that told us not to be afraid and decided I was going to hold onto them with all my might. I didn’t do this perfectly, but I did my best.

The news during those first few weeks wasn’t good. The numbers kept getting higher, and the reports from the media were full of doom and gloom. Was I supposed to be afraid? That was my main question. Even though I was familiar with such verses as Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go,” it still seemed like I should be afraid.

Then, the churches started closing. What was this? Churches had closed, and they were still telling us not to be afraid. Verses like 1 Timothy 1:7 and 1 John 4:18 didn’t seem to mean anything to those of us who follow Jesus. Whether we should be afraid or not has been the theological question I have struggled with this entire time.

As I’ve continued to listen to the media reports over the last few months and seen the precautions taken, one conclusion made the most sense to me. They want us to be afraid. They want us to be afraid of getting sick. Whether that’s inadvertent or on purpose, I don’t know. But, I do know one thing.  I want my thoughts to be on my Lord and Savior and for Him to be with me like it says in Psalms 23:4. “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff,  they comfort me.” I want my trust to be in Him like it says in Psalms 56:3, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” I want Him to deliver me from my fears like it says in Psalms 34:4.

As I wrap this up, I want to make sure I state I don’t have all the answers. I will probably be wrestling with this theological point long after the pandemic is over. But, I know I don’t need to be afraid and that God will be with me through it all–the good and the bad. I pray the same for all my Christian brothers and sisters.

God bless you!

PS I also want to make sure I tell you that I’m following all the mandated precautions for my area.

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