fear and faith

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How the world has changed in just a few weeks. We have described our global environment as VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) for a while, but it has become less of an intellectual exercise and much more tangible and real in our experience now.

In my 59 years, I have never experienced a pandemic like this. I am simultaneously already tired of reading and hearing about the COVID-19 virus and uncontrollably addicted to the rapidly changing news updates. It is easy to understand why people are fearful and panic-buying, especially if they have special circumstances and loved ones who are more vulnerable.

Personally, I want to do what is best for my family and for others. At the same time, I do not want to contribute to the hysteria or the shortages of important items needed by our health care workers. I am altering my ideas, plans, and strategies day by day as the situation changes. I’m sure you are also.

I am struggling to know where to get the information I can trust. Although I am grateful to work for an organization that has teams of people making decisions to keep us safe, I am concerned for those who do not have the flexibility to work from home and whose income will be greatly affected by the inevitable closures. I have no outstanding words of wisdom, no tried and true advice, no surety of next steps to offer others. I, like many of you, am searching through the noise fog to discern what to do one day at a time.

Despite all of the chaos in my mind, I feel (mostly) at peace. It is encouraging to see people offering to help in so many different ways. I am more focused on what is most important, forcibly slowing down, and confident that my family will rally together to get through whatever happens in the future.

I trust that my God is not surprised or overwhelmed by all of this and that He is still loving and good and in control.

That may seem illogical to some, but faith is my strongest source of hope, and I would not want to go through this without Him.

I am praying for you, whoever you are reading this today. I pray that you will not be afraid, but rather will continue to seek answers – to your logistical, what-do-I-do-today questions – and also to your deeper faith questions too. There are no stupid questions; they are valid and real, and I believe that God will prove faithful despite our concerns and ultimately provide the strongest answer to our fears.

How are you doing in these crazy times? What are your fears? How is your faith sustaining you?

You might also want to read facing our fears

8 thoughts on “fear and faith

  1. Your message is right on, Terry. God is not surprised at this and He DOES work everything out according to His will and for His purposes and in THAT I rest and will be watching to see how HE uses this! Gary and I are in the vulnerable age so we are adjusting our lives and ministry for whatever time it takes. “When I am afraid, I will trust in You…” Psalm 56:3

    • Alice, I am so glad to hear you and Gary are doing what you can to stay away from this awful virus. I am also grateful for the peace and rest God can give when our world is crazy. Praying for you today.

  2. I agree with you – “Despite all of the chaos in my mind, I feel (mostly) at peace.” I’m so glad I have the Lord. Being one of the “vulnerable ones,” I deal with “risk” every day of my life. I’ve know for a good 14 years, He holds me in His hand; I need not fear.

    • Ah, dear Maggie. Yes, you are one of the vulnerable… and one of the faith giants I admire. Stay safe and healthy, my friend, as it depends on you. I am praying for you too.

  3. I so appreciate your honesty and your faith. This is a time of insane noise fog, where everyone has an attitude, where panic is more common than calm, and where fear is seen in empty shelves and people scrambling to get the last container of wipes. God knows all this; He is in this. And not having seen anything like this either makes me believe all the more that He has something for us in this. Faith isn’t a faucet we turn off and on. It’s what we choose to practice in the midst of what can’t be controlled by us. I’ve got to believe He is good and sovereign. But I also know I need to be responsible. Thanks for your insights, my friend.

  4. Terri,
    What I find immensely helpful are the assurances that God is with me. Any time I would read bliblical passages that told me to “fear not” or “have no anxiety about anything” my response would be, “But I AM afraid and anxious”. The promise of God’s presence and peace is what I cling to, particularly because I am a big chicken. I totally get Moses’ response to God: Send Aaron. Yep. I can totally see myself doing that. Now that I have lived with my monkey brain for several years, I count on God to strengthen me for what I need to do, even if I do feel anxious, troubled, fearful.

    One of my teaching teammates, when trying to get his students to remember a phrase, would have them repeat the phrase many different ways: Say it like a cowboy, sing it like an opera star, use your best British accent…etc. So yes, sometimes I engage this strategy (when only the dog can witness this) and try out my best voices of “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Sounds pretty awesome when you sing it like an opera star. I usually end up laughing, but it lifts my spirits and helps me to clear my head for a bit. Feel free to use it. 🙂

    Great post, by the way.
    Peace to you,

    • Oh, I love the idea of reciting God’s truth like an opera star or a cowboy! Creativity at its finest. Thanks for sharing that idea. I may use it and share it with others. Peace back to you, friend.

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