To say the least, these are strange times. Life, as we have known it, has temporarily halted. The Covid-19 virus has most of us nervous and on edge. Fear of the unknown is a natural human response. The most commonly recurring theme in the Bible is “Fear not, do not be afraid.” Now is a good time for us to remind ourselves that we need to place our trust in God. Please read more.
It has been said that the Bible contains the phrase “Do not be afraid,” 365 times. Some speculate this is one verse for each day of the year. I cannot confirm that exact count, but I can say, that the most commonly repeated phrase/theme in both the Old Testament and New Testament, is “Have no fear,” “Do not be afraid” and “Be not afraid.” During this Covid-19 Pandemic, we need to keep reminding ourselves that we “need not fear.”
This worldwide pandemic has certainly knocked us all out of our routine ways of life. Most of the population has been told to hunker down at home. Social distancing has become the new buzz phrase in our vocabulary.
Many are asking the question, “Why would God allow something like this to happen?” No one knows the answer to that question, except to say that God’s ways are above our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). We cannot begin to understand the mind of God (1Corinthians 2:16). I do, however, find it an interesting coincidence that all of this is taking place during the season of Lent.
Lent as you know, is a time to slow down and focus on God. It is a time for prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Perhaps there has never been a better time than right now, during this time of worldwide slow down and social distancing, to take to heart these three forms of Lenten preparation.
Let’s make use of our time during this crisis to spend more time in prayer. Let’s pray for an end to this pandemic. Let’s pray for those who are sick. Let’s pray that those who are not sick stay healthy. Let’s pray for the families who have already lost someone to this virus. Let’s pray for those in the health care industry who are caring for the sick or striving to find a cure. And finally, let’s pray for patience, comfort and peace during this unusual time.
So many people are being forced to sacrifice in one way or another right now. Some are being forced to sacrifice by not going to work or school. For some, the inability to be more mobile or to go out to eat is a sacrifice. For those with relatives in nursing homes and hospice care facilities it is a tremendous sacrifice being unable to visit and comfort their elderly or dying loved ones during these mandated lock downs. These temporary hardships and sacrifices are all a form of fasting. Let’s all offer them up to God.
Almsgiving includes the acts of donating money or goods to the poor and performing other acts of charity for those in need. There are millions of people who have been hurt by the shutdowns put in place to slow the spread of this virus. Many people are temporarily out of work. Many are unable to pay their bills. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that we take seriously our call to give alms to others in need.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:25-34 not to worry about tomorrow. He directs our attention to the care His heavenly Father provides for the birds in the sky and the wildflowers in the fields. He reminds us that worry cannot add a single moment to our lifespan. Our heavenly Father knows what is best for each one of us. Jesus tells us to focus on one thing. We need to seek the Kingdom of God. If we do, we have nothing else to fear.
Yes, we are still in Lent, but we must not forget that immediately after Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday we hear those calming words again when the angel tells the women at the tomb, “Do not be afraid.”
These are strange and trying times. Our lives have been disrupted in unprecedented ways. This is the time to put our faith into action as we take solace in these words from Romans 8:28. “We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” May God grant us all peace and comfort as we journey through this together.
Heavenly Father, Jesus told us not to worry, therefore we place our trust in you. Amen!As always, I love to read your comments below as well as hear from you personally by clicking here.