March 31 – Now what? Isaiah 43:1-7
When I read today’s scripture, I thought about our present situation. After many months of being restricted by the coronavirus and its variants, people are asking, now what? Some people have started to experience what psychologists call “pandemic panic,” here defined as “sudden fear or anxiety, often causing wildly unthinking behavior.” In other words, some people are terrified about what the future holds and have started to give in to their fears.
By contrast, other people have faced their fears with faith. This faith reaction is happening now just as it did 100 years ago, and throughout history. One psychologist reported that during the Spanish Flu, for example, people of faith frequently recited scripture as a source of comfort and reassurance. They understood that fear tends to weaken people. Faith tends to strengthen them. He found evidence that one of the scriptures they recited back then was Psalm 56:3: “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in you, [God].” In other words, their faith helped them triumph over their fear.
Common advice today might include breathing in faith and breathing out fear. Breathing in peace and breathing out panic. Enjoying life — remembering to laugh, meditate, read scripture, and pray in spite of the uncertainties. Of course, we don’t know what the future will hold. But, as people of faith, we know who holds the future! Let’s find the courage to move forward without anxiety as we emerge from the pandemic. Acknowledging that God is in control and waiting in faithful anticipation for the pandemic to run its course may be just the thing to help you conquer your fears.