The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, 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. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
These are troubled times. We hear the news of the virus that has swept the world and fear threatens to overwhelm. Fear for our livelihood as workplaces have been shut down or hours have been cut back. Fear for our families and friends wondering if they will be the next victim. Fear for ourselves – could we be the next one, and if so, “Will I give it to someone I love who could die from it?” Fear of not having enough of the basic needs as store shelves are diminished. Fear of life disrupted that may be changed forever. Fear.
But we are not a people of fear but a people of faith. God has not called us to a spirit of timidity but to one of power who only needs call on God for strength and endurance. My friends, let us put fear behind us and rise to the call to be the people of God who can lead by example how to endure the troubled times we have before us. We may not be able to meet face to face, but we can make use of the technology that we have and stay in touch with people. Call one another. Check to make sure others are okay. Pick up groceries for those who are older and more vulnerable, for whom it is truly unsafe to be out where they catch this virus. Share out of the abundance you may have with those whose way of earning a living has been compromised. Offer childcare support. Run errands. These are just a few ways to help each other out, but above all others pray for each other and our world.
We do have a God who walks with us in this time of distress- through the valleys that seem like death, God brings us comfort and strength. God delivers us from all evil (even if it comes as a microbe). May we let the love and compassion of God guide our lives rather than fear. My friends, choose to trust and rest in him and fear not for our God is with us. Let us boldly continue to be the people of God.
7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 8 So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. 9 He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. (2 Timothy 1.2-10)