Faith is not denial. Faith is facing the problem, but focusing on God. The most important thing you can do right now is choose to have faith over fear.
Fear will cause denial, procrastination and indecision; don’t mistake faith for fear. Faith enables you to face your enemy, face your weakness, face your problems, and then fight them knowing that your God is bigger than anything standing in front of you. There’s a story in the book of Mark that speaks to the time we’re in. And there is a particular phrase that I want you to remember when you feel fear start to rise: Why make much ado about nothing?
“And he comes to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and sees the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly. And when he was come in, he said to them, Why make you this ado, and weep?” (Mark 5:38-39).
Their 12-year old daughter was dead. It was tragic and incomprehensible. Why did this happen? How could this have happened? Can you imagine walking into that situation and saying, “Why are you so upset? Why are you making a big deal out of nothing?” But Jesus saw the situation for what it really was. He knew the outcome. He knew there was still hope where it looked like there was none.
He was not whitewashing the danger of what plagued the little girl. He was not making light of the tragedy. He was not down playing their sorrow and weeping and grief. He was saying, “I’m here. I’m in your house. I see what you don’t see. I know what you don’t know.”
“And he took the damsel by the hand, and said to her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say to you, arise. And straightway the damsel arose, and walked” (v. 41-42).
As a people, we will walk away from this pandemic. It will not be the end. Yes, it is deadly and dangerous. Yes, precious people are losing their life to this disease. I am not dismissing the gravity of the situation, but we must not be consumed with fear, and grief, and panic. Those things won’t protect us. We must face the problem, but focus on God—That’s faith!
God gave us common sense to deal with it in every way that we can. Doctors and scientists and experts are giving us practically minute-by-minute advice on ways to fight the spread of coronavirus, and flatten the curve to bring a faster end to this horror. Respond. Use wisdom. Take precautions. Listen to expert advice. And above all, remember, Jesus is saying, “I’m here. I’m with you.”
We are living in a time where we have more cures, more medicine, better technology, and greater science than we've ever had. People are living twice as long as generations ago. When you look at this pandemic against the backdrop of history, there is still so much to be grateful for.
I’m sure that the doctors and nurses, and all the medical staff, and family members caring for others; our first responders, firefighters, police officers; those who are stocking shelves, checking us out and bagging our groceries; all those who are on the frontlines fighting through COVID-19, are scared. We’re all scared. Fear is a natural response and a valid feeling, that’s why we have to choose faith. Choose to focus on God. Choose to see beyond today. Fear without faith is crippling. Faith is what allows us to keep going, in the face of uncertainty.
I know our future is on the horizon. I know God is on our side. I know, together, we will arise and walk out of this.
“The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26).