God has not given us a spirit of fear.
— 2 Timothy 1:7 (CSB)
As I write this, it is the first Sunday after the World Health Organization finally labeled the worldwide experience of the novel coronavirus as a pandemic. All but grocery stores and pharmacies are closed in some countries. Massive social distancing efforts are happening. Cases of infection are on the rise in my country. Churches are streaming worship online with no congregations meeting for at least the next several weeks. For many, it is an intense time of fear and anxiety for themselves, their family members, and others.
Yet the messages of assurance from the Bible are plentiful. In spite of catastrophes, “yet I praise” (Hab. 3:17-19). “Fear not,” say holy messengers over and over. “Don’t be afraid; just believe” (Mark 5:36). “[The Lord] is my refuge,” (Ps. 91) “Do not be anxious about anything” (Phil. 4:6-7).
I have faced the fear of death a couple times in my life, and God’s love, care, and presence have been steadfast through those experiences. Therefore I choose now to praise God, trust in God, practice wisdom by following guidance from health experts, and confidently move into our future.
Prayer: Lord God, protect us, be with us, and help us always to praise you, trust you, and find comfort in you — no matter our circumstances. Amen.
John R. Robinson (Georgia, USA)
Joining friends at The Upper Room in morning prayer on Facebook Live has been an anchor in the storm during recent weeks. In the chaos of trying to figure out how to do ministry in strange and uncertain times, it was a compelling call to stop, breathe, listen, and be in community with those who gather "where the world meets to pray." Join us each day for morning prayer.