There is a lot to fear these days. At every turn, there is something to cause our hearts to panic, our thoughts to veer toward despondency, and our minds to wrestle with the “what-ifs”. At any given moment, trepidation hunkers down for a permanent residency deep within our spirits.
Those who lived in previous generations will tell you that this isn’t the first time the world has been in a state of turbulent unrest, chaos, and fear. The Civil War, WWI, WWII, famines, and The Great Depression were terrifying. The unparalleled horrors of the Holocaust and Rwandan and Cambodian Genocides are examples of the evil and darkest side of humanity.
Things can seem bleak right now. On top of current events, there are also the “regular” things to fear: losing a loved one, cancer, debilitating diseases, severe chronic illness, fear of losing one’s job and/or home, fear of the continual loss of freedoms, and the list goes on.
All of these things are frightening and remind us that the world we live in is far from perfect. And will never be perfect. It will never be a utopia, no matter how much one might wish it to be so.
But to spend time dwelling on such statistics can send us into a spiraling state of despair.
A state we were never supposed to reside in.
Life is short. Life is frail. And life is precious.
And for those of us in Christ, this is just a momentary stop on our way to spending eternity with our Savior. So as we continue on in this journey, may we find peace and rest in the arms of our Lord through the life-changing scripture found in His Word. May we allow it to sink deep within our hearts and minds so the next time fear comes knocking at our door, we can confidently turn it away.
May we remember to surrender our fears to Him minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, day-by-day.
May we remember that nothing can take away the peace that comes with the assurance of Salvation.
This world is temporary.
The fears we have in this world are also temporary. But eternity is forever.
All of the craziness of 2020, including the pandemic and social unrest, certainly plays into the fact that it’s always wise to have some extra food/supplies on hand. I’m not talking about being a hoarder, stockpiling, or going into panic mode. Far from it. Rather, I’m talking about being prepared in case there are a few months in which you are unable to get to the store or the store shelves are bare. Or there are more forced lockdowns and quarantines and travel to the store isn’t an option.
Most of us remember not too long ago when we experienced the bitter taste of socialism as we visited our local grocery store only to discover certain items being rationed, or that some items were indefinitely out of stock. I remember that first time my heart lurched as I gazed at shelf after shelf at our largest grocery store, only to find a few stray dried pinto beans, rice kernels, a few miscellaneous dented cans, and nothing more in several of the aisles.
Of course we will always remember the craziness of the toilet paper caper (and truly, some of that panic was ridiculous) and the fact that cleaning wipes and hand sanitizer were obsolete. But in my neck of the woods, other things were difficult to find as well. Milk and butter were rationed and tortillas and any type of Mexican food (salsa, hot sauce, etc.) had disappeared. Cheese (admittedly one of my favorite foods) couldn’t be found. I honestly thought the cows had gone on strike. Potatoes were a luxury item.
My mom told me just the other day that toilet paper in her town (20 miles from a major metro area) had again been rationed to one pack per person. Hopefully, we aren’t going to go down this route again.
The Lord tells us in His Word not to worry about what we will eat. He reminds us that the birds of the air don’t worry about what they will eat or drink and we are worth much more to Him that the sparrows. (Matthew 6:25-34).
However, I believe God desires us to use the common sense that He gave us. We should have food in the refrigerator and pantry for times when it might not be readily available to us. Or times when we might need to help someone less fortunate. And emergency preparedness is always a good idea.
One of my favorite things to do is to purchase extra when one of our smaller local grocery stores has their “case lot sale”. These extras can be used for food drives, which are especially prevalent around Christmas. These extras can also be donated to friends or family who may have fallen on hard times and need extra food to carry them to the next paycheck.
According to some experts, it’s always a wise idea to have at least a month’s worth of items in your pantry. Here are some suggestions:
Fear. A common struggle for many people. Dictionary.com defines it as a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.
We, as Believers, know from God’s Word that we can trust, rather than fear. God knew, however, that His precious children would struggle with this at times. I read somewhere that “fear not” is mentioned in the Bible at least 365 times.
I love that God knew we would worry. That He knew we would fear. That He knew we would need an antidote for angst, panic, and anxiety. Indeed, there is much to fear in today’s crazy world.
Yet, we know that God loves us so much that He sent His Son for us, that we are invaluable to Him, and that He goes before us in those stressful situations. In Matthew 10:31, He talks of us being more valuable than the sparrows, whom He cares and provides for.
The next time fear comes to knock on your door, take some time to dive into God’s Word and let these verses comfort your soul.
And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you. ~ Psalm 9:10
So do not fear, for I am with you…for I am your God. ~ Isaiah 41:10
I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. ~ Psalm 34:4
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:7
I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. ~ Psalm 16:8
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. ~ John 14:27
For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” ~ Isaiah 41:13
When I am afraid, I put my trust in You. ~ Psalm 56:3
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in You. ~ Isaiah 26:3
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. ~ Psalm 23:4
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. ~ 1 John 4:18
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? ~ Psalm 27:1
Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. ~ Isaiah 12:2A
Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. ~ Matthew 6:34
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. ~ Psalm 46:1