I’m pretty sure one of my main motivations in life is fear. I’m scared of failing, scared of saying the wrong thing, and scared of being insignificant. All my life, I’ve struggled with fear. Because of that, I call myself a “chronic worrier.”
When I was little, my dad worked nightshift. Every evening, as I heard his truck taking off down the gravel driveway, my heart would beat faster and faster knowing he was leaving me, my mom, and my little brother home alone without him.
Who would protect us if something bad happened?
Every creak and groan of our old log house sounded like a monster, and I convinced myself an intruder was just outside my window every time I heard the dog bark.
Now that I’m older, I’m no longer scared of those things. They kind of seem silly looking back on it now. Instead, I’ve traded my old fears for new ones.
I’m scared of getting cancer, running out of money, and dying alone.
As I’ve grown up, I’ve learned how to better manage my fear, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say there were nights where I still felt like a six-year-old again, staring at the ceiling unable to fall asleep because my mind is consumed with worry.
Lately, the Coronavirus has become my fear of choice. It’s even more viral online than it is in real life. I can’t scroll through Facebook without seeing a new stat or a new update on the ever-growing pandemic.
It would be easy for me to be overly fearful, but instead of panicking I need to remind myself that I don’t have to be paralyzed by fear.
Whenever I start to feel afraid, 3 truths help keep me from spiraling out of control.
1.) We aren’t promised a life free of pain.
The Bible doesn’t promise us a life free from suffering.
John 16:33 NLT says, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows…”
On the surface, this doesn’t seem encouraging. In fact, it seems like this truth would actually make me more afraid, but for most of my life I convinced myself if I did all the right things I could control the outcome of my life.
In my mind, if I ate the right foods and exercised every day, I wouldn’t get cancer when I got older. If I read my Bible every day, I wouldn’t doubt God’s promises. If I always tried my best, I wouldn’t fail. But to be honest, none of my if’s ring true Biblically.
Suffering and sorrow, in some form, is promised. Nothing I do will stop suffering from happening. I take comfort in this because it removes the idea that I have to take constant control over my life.
So instead of frantically worrying and trying to control everything, I can step back and take a deep breath because only God is in control of my life.
2.) There are no if’s in God’s Kingdom.
When I was in junior high, I had to read the “Hiding Place” by Corrie Ten Boom. Corrie and her family helped hide Jews in the Nazi-controlled Netherlands and were arrested and sent to the Ravensbrück concentration camp.
Miraculously, she survived. Her book is a powerful and honest testimony of her doubts, her faith, and her ultimate hope in Christ.
In her book, she says “There are no ‘if’s’ in God’s world. And no places that are safer than other places. The center of His will is our only safety – let us pray that we may always know it!”
Whoa. I’ll never forget that quote. True safety is only found in Christ. He alone is the source of all my hope.
God’s plan for my life is for me to know and love him and to find my safety and joy in him despite my struggles.
Corrie Ten Boom knew this well. She suffered horrible things. She lost her father and sister, but even while she wrestled with doubt at times, all of her hope was placed in Christ alone.
3.) God is the source of all joy and peace.
When I begin to worry, I cling to Romans 15:13 NLT, “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
So, even if my fears do come true, I know God is with me, and I know in him I can have joy and peace.
Even in the midst of the Coronavirus, I’m going to take a step back and trust in him.
I’ll probably also continue to wash my hands a little more than normal, but I know I don’t have to panic because my faith and my hope rests in the one who is the source of all love, hope, and joy.
Are you struggling with fear or anxiety?
If life (or the coronavirus) has you feeling more fearful or anxious than you’d like to be, this 15 day study is for you. It’s called, “Fear: What it is and how to live beyond it.” WBSG Fear , then we’ll send you inspiring stories right to your inbox from Christian artists and personalities who have been there, too.