If God spares me long enough to become well-stricken in years, someday I will tell young people, “I remember the days when the line for Chipotle stretched halfway through the parking lot.”
Yes, Chipotle often has a line, but, no, it doesn’t usually stretch that far. But today the lines at grocery stores, coffee shops, and restaurants are 2-6 times longer than they were only a few months ago.
(By the way, I don’t really like the term “social distancing.” I prefer the term that I heard Tony Evans mention the other day, “physical distancing.” Social distancing has been happening for years, largely thanks to smartphones.)
Times have changed, and only time will tell whether the old normal will return or whether this new normal has ushered in a new era.
But one thing that hasn’t changed is fear. The only difference is that now it has manifested itself with a new agent.
Fear is everywhere, and it quickly spreads from person to person regardless of how far apart we stand. Even the isolated are not exempt.
The symptoms? Worry, panic, and stress. In severe cases, self-destruction. Do you realize how scary it is when a self-imposed emotion suddenly has the power to destroy you?
So how does fear survive and grow inside a person’s soul?
Simple. We recognize our fear, try to conquer it, and then grow more fearful when we fail. The process repeats itself until our minds are incapable of handling the stress that we have placed upon ourselves.
Fear is deceptive, telling victims, “You are stronger than me. You can control me. Do whatever you have to conquer me.” The victims listen, react, and fall deeper into the trap they set for themselves.
This harmful cycle continues indefinitely.
Covid-19 may have changed your life in the last few days. Maybe a friend or family member has contracted the virus and is fighting to stay alive. Maybe you have lost your job or have suffered a cutback in hours. Maybe your upcoming vacation was canceled.
Maybe you are a senior citizen and have seen your investments diminish. Maybe you are a senior in high school or college and are wondering if you’ll be able to graduate this spring. Maybe nothing has happened to you and you are just waiting for something bad to come your way.
You can still live without fear.
“That’s impossible! I can’t control my circumstances!”
Correct. But you can control your responses.
Fear is a choice.
Fear, however, is not the only option. Actually, let me place a condition on that statement.
Fear is not the only choice for a born-again Christian. For everyone else, fear is still a choice, but it is the only choice they have.
If you set a bowl of oatmeal before an unhealthily skinny, starved person, they have a choice. They can eat the food or reject it. The choice is not between several different types of food. They simply get to eat what is before them or continue to starve.
Those who have not placed their faith in Jesus Christ and accepted his forgiveness of sin have only one choice before them when hardships and trials come: fear. They choose to fear because choosing not to fear is the equivalent of ignoring what is going on around them.
But for those of us who have a personal relationship with God?
Fear is a choice, but it’s not the only one, and it’s not the best one.
Why? We will explore that concept in the next post.
But here’s a hint: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
Stay tuned…after all, you probably have a little extra free time right now anyway 🙂
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