Any, and practically every, adversity is an opportunity in which to be fearful. It’s really the unknown of any given set of circumstances that gives rise to fear and undue concern. Trust, on the other hand, is the discipline that dispels fear and anxiety. Not just blind or ignorant trust, but genuine dependence on that which has been proven to be tried and true. Of course, arguably, the greatest example to be trustworthy is Jesus Christ. Granted, it’s a matter of faith to be sure. But then again, the Bible says that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). So it can be quite a challenge to understand how fear and anxiety from the unknown can be dispelled by One who can’t be visibly seen or audibly heard. Hence, the answer is sourced in the spiritual.
For the believer, he or she knows that the physical and the spiritual are inextricably linked together. That being the case, one must understand that reason should never dominate faith. Instead, the two, faith and reason, should compliment each other just as intellect should compliment common sense, wisdom should compliment prudent risk, and as leverage should compliment force, etc. Therefore, especially in matters of adversity and the unknown, God’s Word is the grid-work through which the circumstances should be filtered.
The Bible may not give us specific or direct instructions on a given matter such as details surrounding COVID-19, and how to deal with the political, legal, medical and economic ramifications to us as individuals, as a corporate body or a nation. However, the Bible does give us clear, and in some cases imperative, directions on how we are to conduct ourselves everyday as Christians. Oversimplified, love is the order of everyday living irrespective of adversity or advantage. Micah 6:8 tells us to do justly, love mercy and to walk humbly before our God.
With respect to the present adversity of COVID-19, we’ve been hearing a lot of terms like “directives,” “orders,” “stay at home,” safer at home,” “social distancing,” etc., each of us has to make application of the recommendations, suggestions, and directives of the respective authorities as he or she sees fit. Staying home for one may be more necessary than for another, “essential” being the operative word as of late. So the point of this note is to encourage everyone not to live in fear, but in the Spirit of love by the power of Christ having the mind of Christ in you. As I have been saying for the last couple of weeks, and will continue to do so, staying at home is obviously the wiser decision for everyone especially for those 65 years of age and older, as well as, restricting all non essential activity outside the home. And if you do choose to go somewhere you deem essential, practice the 6 foot space of social distancing. Finally, keep in mind the requests of your loved ones who might not understand and agree with the choice(s) you make to go places when they think and urge you to stay home. If at all possible, it might well be wiser to honor their request. But at the end of the day, that is between you and them.
“God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” II Timothy 1:7, (NIV translates “sound mind” as self-control).