What a year these past ten days have been, right? Like many of you, I’ve run the full gamut of emotions, thinking everything from “Darn, my vacation is canceled,” to “the world as we know it is OVER!” Some of you are learning to home-school for the very first time, others are dealing with loneliness, some might even be facing unemployment or the loss of essential retirement funds. I don’t know what’s specifically on your heart today, but I do know this. God’s got this! He is in control.
Perhaps that’s why we’re struggling. In the midst of our day-to-day living, running from one activity to the next, we’ve lost sight of who really is in control. But this virus has exposed our fragility. We can no longer pretend we are the ones controlling this, or any, situation. The uncertainty of what lies ahead and how long our world will be upended fosters fear and anxiety.
Fear is such a human emotion, isn’t it? And so hard to control. I’ve been reading the chronological Bible in my daily reading this year, so I’m deep in the story of the early nation of Israel right now. The Israelites are coming to an end of their years in the desert and are poised to enter the Promised Land. Whenever I get to this part, I always wonder—what made the difference? Why was this 2nd generation able to do what their parents could not? How were they able to enter the Promised Land? How were they able to control their fear?
Both generations experienced God’s protection and power first-hand. One might even argue the parents had the larger dose of first-hand experiences. Many of the children who entered the Promised Land weren’t even alive when God led their parents out of Egypt. They never saw all the signs and wonders or the parting of the Red Sea. Were they there when water gushed from a rock in the barren sand? Did they hear his voice thunder from the mountain like their parents did? For many, those were simply stories their parents told them. And yet, when it came their turn to stand on the banks of the Jordan, they chose faith over fear.
I want to be like that. Like them, I want to take Joshua’s words to heart:
“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”Joshua 1:9
To be honest, as a 9 on the enneagram scale, my first instinct during this season is to crawl into bed and pull the covers up over my head until it’s all over. But I know God expects more of me than that. In fact, He commands it.
“Do not be afraid.”
So how about it? Are you with me? In the midst of the chaos, in the midst of the battle, are you willing to step out in faith, knowing He’s in control, knowing there is no enemy too great for Him to overcome? During these uncertain times, let our story be one of great faith. Let’s look for ways to be grateful. Let’s look for ways to serve.
Let’s choose faith over fear.