There’s something far worse than a deadly pandemic. It consumes more quickly, reaches farther. And it kills on a whole different level.
It’s called fear.
Fear begins by infiltrating our minds, methodically working its way to target our hearts.
If we allow, it will steal our future, and possibly our very lives.
These days it’s easy to get caught in the grip of fear. Leave the news channel on all day. Read the headlines. Listen to every alarming broadcast. Soon enough, you’ll fall victim.
Of course, we don’t want to be blind to what’s going on around us. We don’t want to be ignorant of world events. And we certainly need to be aware so we can respond with compassion.
But if we’re not careful, panic will overwhelm us and choke our breath more than any virus ever could.
When faced with the threat of death by fiery furnace, the three young Jewish victims spoke boldly to their tyrannical persecutor, “…we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” (Daniel 3:16-18)
Even in times when I feel afraid, fear is overcome by the knowledge that my God can rescue me. He has a history of coming through in the most impossible of circumstances. Yet even IF he didn’t come through as expected, I have a greater hope that goes beyond the here and now.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. suspected his life was nearing its end when he spoke to a weary crowd in Memphis, Tennessee. “We’ve got some difficult days ahead,” he declared. “But it really doesn’t matter now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop…Like any man, I would like to live a long life. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will…I’ve seen the Promised Land…And I’m happy tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”
He was killed the next day.
How could a man whose life was in imminent danger speak with such great confidence?
He knew of a greater Promised Land.
God is able to rescue us from the worst of circumstances. He is mighty to save. And YET…
When our purpose here is fulfilled and it comes time to breathe our final breath, there is a greater hope that lies beyond this earthen soil. Those who have placed their hope in the promise of Jesus Christ know that our last breath here ushers us into a place where there’s nothing left to fear.
And knowing this, we can live without fear.