When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. And the waves will not overcome you. Do not fear, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name, you are mine.
Fear seems to be running rampant in our world today.
This is not to say that there is nothing to fear. Because there is – disease, unrest, disaster.
And contrary to what some purported followers of Christ have suggested, no, your faith will not banish away the viruses. Seriously, just wash your hands.
Here is what is true: your faith gives you strength to face the storm. Whatever it may be. You face it with tenacity and courage. You face it with strength to overturn what is wrong. You face it with humility enough to realize it’s not just about you.
Yes, God knows your name, because God created you. Yes, God will be with you when you walk through the fires of life, because God is always working among us. However, God is relying on all of us to do our part to make a difference, too.
All humans on this planet are in the same boat with us. And facing down challenges like we have today is daunting, to be sure. But we, who follow God, are not only looking out for ourselves. It is our job to look out for everyone else too.
The first step: do not fear.
Fear causes panic and hysteria, which leads to far more people getting hurt. Having a healthy respect for the surmounting issues in our midst is appropriate. But rather than freaking out or overstocking on toilet paper (I think we’ve forgotten we’re dealing with a cold not cholera), we simply need to use our heads, remember our common sense, and do our part to take on the challenges in our midst.
Whether we are toppling the patriarchy and racism in our midst, supporting those who have been hit by natural disasters, or intentionally keeping our distance to keep a disease from spreading, all begin with this same mantra – do not fear.
Then, get to work.