When the Coronavirus pandemic began to escalate across the globe in early March, thousands of people rushed blindly to their local supermarkets. In a frenzy that has rarely been witnessed, they began clearing the shelves of dozens of essential items.
While the situation seemed amusing to some it highlighted a serious social pandemic that lay beneath the rapidly spreading viral one; people were overwhelmed with fear.
So has fear really become the new norm? Well there are definitely a handful of emotions that have slowly become the new norm; isolation, loneliness, uncertainty and yes, added into that mix is fear. More often than not we fear what we don’t know and can’t understand.
When Henry Tudor invaded England and faced off against Richard III in the Battle of Bosworth field in 1485 he brought an army of mercenaries with him. Not long after, he was crowned Henry VII and then, the dreaded sweating sickness began.
It was such a deadly virus that the saying known throughout England was that a man could be merry at breakfast and dead by lunch. No one understood it much less had a cure for it and thousands of Englishmen died.
But the fear it created was palpable. Anyone who so much as coughed, sneezed or seemed to be sweating a little more than usual was immediately ostracised. A chambermaid working in the Royal Court could be immediately dismissed if she was even slightly ill.
It was a terrifying time. Much like the times we are living in are terrifying and fraught with so much insecurity. So, what is the answer? Should we give in to fear? Jump back in terror when someone coughs a metre from us?
Well, there’s a fine line between being sensible and being panic-stricken. During a time like this, it is essential that we are sensible and that we take the necessary precautions to mitigate the risk of infection for ourselves and our families.
But sensibility does not need to be accompanied by a big slice of panic. The Bible tells us in Psalm 91:1-2 (NKJV) “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in Him will I trust”.
God is a refuge and fortress to all those who put their trust in Him. He is able to keep us safe even in the midst of the worst storms. We can turn to Him for wisdom, comfort, and guidance but above all, we can turn to Him for peace. Fear does not need to be our new norm, instead, peace and certainty can be our new norm in Jesus.
In John 14:27 Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid”.
And again, in John 16:33 Jesus says, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world”.
When we turn on the news it can seem like the world is descending into chaos with every passing minute, but this does not have to be our personal experience. The Bible says in Isaiah 26:3, ‘You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You: because he trusts in You’.
We have the opportunity to trust in Jesus. To make Him our refuge and our protection, and to accept His peace. If you would like to reach out and take hold of that opportunity today and calm your fears, then I’d like to recommend the free gift we have for you. It’s the booklet, How to Cope with Anxiety.