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this-is-fear

Happy Easter. I rejoice with my Christian brothers and sisters in the victorious resurrection of Jesus. Thank You, Lord, for delivering us from sin, death, hell, the grave, and the devil. I have joined with you in celebrating that stunning, eternal-life-giving event right in the midst of a viral pandemic, and I trust you are in good health and your soul is prospering.

This week, I am going to have surgery on my neck. The doctors will be fusing a few of my vertebrae together with metal plates (a cervical laminectomy with fusion and plating) because my hands, arms, shoulders, feet, and legs have gone numb. It had been necessary to deem this an urgent operation because elective procedures are not allowed at this time. I am glad for the decision. If you can place yourself in my shoes, you can understand the concerns my wife and I have been facing. For me, the concern is losing the use of my arms and legs. For my wife, it’s the possibility needing to care for someone who is handicapped. She is already doing a bit of that. It’s iffy, for example, for me to carry a glass of liquid because my hands can’t feel it as well, and it may slip from my grasp.

And then there is the virus.

Because Laurie works as a cashier, she’s out there amidst the public, four hours a day, several days a week. If either one of us becomes ill, the vital surgery will not happen. So, when the doctors told us the operation was going to move forward, we both thought, “What if Laurie gets the coronavirus between now and the time of surgery? Should she take a week off from work?”

We decided to ask the Lord.

Ain’t we smart?

Laurie was sitting with her iPad in hand, and I was leaning on the door jam in our bedroom. I straightened up, and we began to pray. As soon as I opened my mouth, I felt peace.

There. The answer.

Issue resolved.

Kinda.

Although our present context is different from Isaiah’s, whose nation was being judged and under military threat, the truth the Lord spoke here is vitally helpful for us in our current environment.

“For the LORD spoke thus to me with his strong hand upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying: ‘Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. But the LORD of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread’” (Isaiah 8:11–13).1

I am not to be swept along with the fear that my country is experiencing as a result of a virus. Should Laurie and I be careful and wise concerning our behaviors? Of course—although some may consider that going to work at all, especially at her age, is unwise. But we must reject any fear that she will contract the virus. It is no surprise that fearful feelings have come. Those fears are not from God, however. The thoughts that shoot through my brain are not His thoughts. How do I know? I know because He gave me peace when I prayed. It is now my task to believe Him; to take Him at His word. This promise is true: “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you” (Isaiah 26:3). That is our task. To abide in Him and His words.

Laurie is working this afternoon and may work another day before the surgery. So, I am publishing this article in faith, believing that the Lord is worthy of trust and speaks only what is true. Laurie will remain virus-free before surgery, as will I.

Thank You, Father, for Your loving care and guidance.

 

1All Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

 

Gif courtesy Bing images.

 

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