"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." —Proverbs 3:5-6
I know I've blogged about this kind of subject a number of times before, in various ways, including how my plans for my life get derailed. But right now, with all this COVID-19 stuff, I feel like it's super important to remember Who's really in charge here.
See, there's always stuff to be afraid of. Whether it's diseases (from COVID-19 to the flu to Ebola), wars, terrorist attacks, bad drivers that could cause a car accident, the possibility of kids getting into dangerous things like cleaning supplies or boiling water, a potential bad job situation, losing your job, not being able to buy toilet paper, cancer, heart attacks, drowning, failing your loved ones, getting rejected (whether in a personal or job/professional/writing situation), bad book reviews, wasting money on ineffective marketing, house fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, falling off a ladder, getting attacked by a shark when you go to the beach, burglaries, accidentally dropping the baby you're holding, forgetting something crucial...
Honestly, I could probably go on forever brainstorming things to be afraid of. I have a pretty good imagination when it comes to those things. Those things are always going to exist. And when there's some new kind of thing to be afraid of, like there is with COVID-19, people panic.
I'm not saying that this illness—or any of these other things—are not legitimate concerns. We should always use common sense in life. You know, drive defensively and pay attention to the road and the cars around you. Wash your hands and use basic hygiene/standard disinfectants. Don't leave lighters where kids can get ahold of them. Do reasonable research before you spend money to make sure it's not a straight up waste.
But the fact is, the world is scary. Life is scary. We live in a fallen world with legitimate threats of many, many kinds. And there is Someone Who is still in control.
Is everything always going to be great? Not by a long shot. Is God always going to deliver us from everything that might give us pain in this life? Not at all. But does that mean that God isn't there, isn't in control, and that we shouldn't still trust Him? Certainly not.
God is still in control, no matter what way the media is currently telling us the way the world is burning. Do people die of COVID-19? Yes. Do people die of the flu? Yes. Do people die in car accidents? Yes. Do people die in house fires? Yes. Do people die in wars and terrorist attacks? Yes. But people survive these things too, and we can count on the fact that no matter what, God is still there with us in the midst of every tragedy and every normal bad day and every good day too.
If it's time for God to take you home, then it's time and you get to be with Him forever. If your new job is terrible, God will be with you through it, and He's ultimately going to use that situation for good, though you may not see how that is possible. If your house gets broken into, God is still there. If that great opportunity you thought you had last summer turns out to be nothing whatsoever, God has a reason for putting you through it that will ultimately bring Him glory.
Point is, bad things happen. We live in a sinful, fallen world. But God is still sovereign. God is still in control, no matter what.
I know it's hard to trust Him. Believe me, I have a lot of personal experience in this area. I wouldn't have written those previous posts if I'd always found it easy.
But God has commanded us to trust in Him. He's commanded us not to fear. He has told us that things will go according to His will. Most of the time, His will is not ours. But that doesn't make it any less good. That doesn't make Him any less trustworthy. That doesn't give us license to panic.
So whether you're afraid of COVID-19, or getting in a car accident, or a new job, or terrorist attacks, or snakes *shudders*, just remember that God is in control and put your trust in Him.
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." —Joshua 1:9