Back in 2019, Covid-fear was real. Fear, for me, is not new; I have experienced moments of deep fear in my life before. But this Covid/pandemic fear was a new one to process—I’m sure many of you can relate.
Twice in my life, I had the same horribly real dream where I was deeply afraid. Twenty years later and I can still recall them clearly: in my dream I was laying in bed when an evil, spiritual presence came in the room. The fear was intense but, even in that dream-state, my response was reflexive. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. I said His name over and over. And the evil spirit departed.
I haven’t thought about those dreams in years, but recently they came to mind as I was thinking about the collective pandemic fear and our personal response to it. How does one deal with paralyzing, infuriating or perhaps depression-inducing fear? For me, there definitely have been moments (and much longer stretches) over the past two years when fear was winning.
As believers, I think it comes down to answering these two questions:
1. Do we truly believe God is who He said He is?
2. Do we believe He will keep our soul safe even in the midst of _____ (sickness, job loss, trauma, relationship troubles—fill in the blank)?
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.Psalm 46:1-2
Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.
God is good. Do we believe in His goodness no matter what?
God is sovereign. Do we believe He truly rules the world in justice and righteousness?
God is faithful. Do we believe He will uphold us despite our circumstances?
One Sunday our teacher said: “You haven’t lived until you’ve met Him somewhere that you thought was hopeless.” (Sermon can be found here, so encouraging.) True life with Jesus is coming to a fearful place and then finding Him there. We discover He is faithful to help us trust Him (“help my unbelief!” Mark 9:24) and then that fearful, hopeless place incredibly becomes the safest place in the world.
Fear doesn’t have to win.
My heart whispers: Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.