Who could have imagined, even just 2-3 years ago, how much life across the whole planet could change in such a short period of time? How fear, and compliance with the “rules” (to keep us all safe, of course!) would become part of our everyday lives so easily.
My “fear” during the first lockdown was not of catching covid, but of getting caught by the police for visiting my friend who lives just a few roads away from me, and suffers from severe anxiety and chronic pain. She was all on her own apart from a volunteer dropping a bag of essential shopping at her doorstep every week and was in severe distress. She may not have had covid, but her suffering was genuine and I felt compelled to go to see her, to comfort and reassure her.
However, I was brought up to be respectful and obedient to the laws of the land and those who uphold them, so I felt hugely stressed and guilty going to her home, sneaking in through the back garden and expecting to be hauled into a police car at any moment (which didn’t happen of course!) I do remember thinking to myself, I never thought I’d see the day where I’d be afraid of the police or feel like I’m deliberately breaking the law! It’s just not in my genes! But my heart was telling me this was more important and worth the risk, for the sake of her sanity and wellbeing.
Yet, I have seen so much contradiction coming from central government; masks don’t help, masks are essential, vaccines will stop the spread, oh wait… no they don’t, they just prevent you from getting it so severely but don’t stop you catching or spreading it, so give no protection to anyone else. Flip, flop… Who knows what is true or accurate any more? We’re just getting swept along on the tide of covid-mania!
It’s a bit like the “war on terror” after 9/11. I remember watching the terrible scene unfold on TV at the time and telling my young son, “Remember this day. It’s the day the world changed.” And sure enough, in came strict new laws and restrictions; the many being punished for the actions of the few. But any catastrophe, whether man made or not, that has such an acute emotional effect on humans across the globe, enables change that would not be stood for in lesser circumstances.
As Christians, there are a few things we should be bearing in mind through all this…
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Tim 1:7
For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Phil 1:21
We need to keep a cool head and remember where our true future lies, and with whom. He is the one who protects us, provides for us and who will keep us, both here and in eternity.
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Rev 12:11
This verse in context may refer to the “tribulation saints” but equally applies to us. We should not love our earthly lives so much that we try to hang on to them at any cost and are afraid to let go and trust Jesus with whatever comes next. When we are here, he is with us, but if we should die, we are with him, forever.
Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Is 41:10
I have committed Psalm 91 to memory and speak it out often, along with Psalm 23… His Word is in me, in my mind and in my spirit and I choose to believe it is the truth. What the enemy fears most, and what he tries his utmost to destroy, is our belief in a mighty God and in the truth of his Word; that we have a Saviour, a rescuer, who is ALREADY victorious! The enemy wants us helpless and afraid, trying to do OUR best to protect ourselves and our loved ones. God’s word says, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.” He is SITTING because his work is finished! It’s not about us, it’s about him!
Let the WORD of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. Col 3:16
Brothers and Sisters, “Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, so that you can make your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Therefore take up the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you will be able to stand your ground, and having done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of TRUTH buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS arrayed, and with your feet fitted with the readiness of the gospel of PEACE. In addition to all this, take up the shield of FAITH, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of SALVATION and the sword of the Spirit, which is the WORD of God.
Pray in the Spirit at all times, with every kind of prayer and petition. To this end, stay alert with all perseverance in your prayers for all the saints.