By Pastor Tommy Rush, First Baptist Church
I think most would agree that the past five months has seemed more like five years. None of us will likely ever forget these days that we are currently living in. It’s amazing to think how one virus has impacted so much. You don’t need me to recap all that we have experienced since this all began, but every area of life has been impacted. Like most of you, I am eager for the day when we can talk about the Coronavirus in past tense.
The Coronavirus is called a pandemic. Webster’s Dictionary defines,“pandemic” as prevalent over a whole area or country; that which is universal epidemic over a large region, often said of a disease. As bad as it sounds, there may be another pandemic that is worst. Fear. Many people are living today with a great amount of fear and anxiety. Fear of getting the virus, fear of sending our kid’s to school, fear of being alone, fear of losing possessions, fear of losing a job, etc. Fear is real and at times can be very healthy. It has actually been built into us by our Creator so that we might preserve our lives and fulfill His will for us. Healthy fear leads us to plan and prepare, to be wise and careful as we move forward in faith. I like to say, fear and doubt are paralyzing, but faith and confidence are mobilizing.
Unhealthy fear is fear that leads to panic. Unhealthy fear makes us do crazy things or react in out of control ways. One negative reaction to fear is running away from it rather than face it. Psychologists say many react to fear by trying to escape it. Escape is when you try to get out of the situation. You may have heard the story of the old country boy who came home one day with his clothes torn, shoes worn, and looking totally exhausted. He had been gone for over a week and when he came in, his wife said, “Where in tarnation have you been?” He said, “Well, I went out to check on the cows and all of a sudden this giant bear jumped out, the biggest bear I’ve ever seen in my life. I took off running. I ran like crazy and never looked back. I ran until I finally lost the bear. I’ve never ran faster in my whole life.” His wife replied, “You’ve been gone all week. Where have you been since then?” He said, “I’ve been walking back.”
The most repeated command in the world’s best-selling book, the Bible, is this…”Don’t be afraid.” Even when life seems out of control, God is ultimately in control. Down through the centuries in times of trouble, crisis and struggle, God has brought courage to the hearts of those who love and trust Him. I love the words of the Psalmist found in Psalm 34:4 “I sought the Lord and He heard me and delivered me from all my fears.” So run! Just run by faith the race that He has set before you.