These are truly interesting times we find ourselves in at the moment. I know for a lot of our community, and our extended grandparent community, there is a lot of anxiety over the COVID-19 outbreak. Life has changed and the number of cases is increasing rapidly, both here and particularly in Europe.
But we do not need to fear. God wants us to face moments of fear with faith and confidence
Things seem a bit scary and intimidating at the moment don’t they? Entire countries closing down borders, millions of people self isolating and being ill, supermarkets running low on supplies, air travel coming to a halt, and millions of people panicking about what might happen to them if they come into contact with the virus. COVID-19 has given lots of people reason to fear and panic. We have every reason to be concerned.
But in Matthew 6:25—27 Jesus teaches us not to worry; “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
Note here that Jesus doesn't say don't be concerned or careful, He says don’t worry! There is a difference between being concerned and being worried. You can be concerned but as soon as it consumes you or controls your actions and emotions that is when it becomes worry and fear. The Bible also teaches us in 2 Timothy 1: 7 that God has NOT given us a Spirit of fear but of Power, Love and Self-Control. The Bible also explains God's love is perfect (1 Corinthians 13) and that perfect love will cast out all fear (1 John 4:18).
So even though you have every reason to be concerned and cautious, let me encourage you to see this as a time to be bold and brave and witnesses to the world of God's love and peace that goes well beyond anyone’s current comprehension. This is a great opportunity to be showing our children, families, colleagues and neighbours how we can react in FAITH and not FEAR. Fear has the ability to paralyse while faith is something that has the ability to free us.
Many countries have introduced some strict regulations and measures of isolation. Many schools across the globe have closed and there have been restrictions on large gatherings of people. Currently New Zealand has a limit of 100 people as a maximum at any event. Many families are choosing and being encouraged to stay at home wherever and whenever possible. Most churches are closing and looking for other ways to get their messages out, but it remains vital to keep building faith in your families.
Finally let me encourage you to do one more thing every day over the next 30 days. Read and declare the promises of Psalm 91. You could even try changing ‘I’ to your own name or your families name when it is referring to you. Let’s do this together and watch God at work over the next month.
My thanks to faith4families.org from which this has been adapted from.