If you’re anything like me, your email inboxes and social media feeds have been inundated over the past several days with everything from theme park closures to major sporting event cancellations to dire statistics to sarcastic toilet-paper-hoarding memes — all related, directly or indirectly, to the Coronavirus and the resulting COVID-19 disease. And if you’re anything like me, you may feel like you’re being pulled in 17 directions at once and you’re having a very hard time deciding exactly whom and what to believe.
Do you join the panicked masses who stockpile drinking water and antibacterial hand soaps, hunkering down as if the Coronavirus were waiting to pounce on you the moment you dare to set foot outside your front door?
Do you veer to the other side of the road and join the conspiracy theorists and naysayers who scoff at any concerns voiced by their family and friends, refusing to acknowledge the existence of any real threat at all?
Do you attempt to drive safely down the center of the road, avoiding the ditch on either side, weighing every argument, reading all the stats, re-tweeting every closure update along with the toilet paper memes (because balanced social media sharing is key to maintaining an aura of rationality, obviously)?
Do you believe the panicked, the cynical, or nobody at all?
The last thing I want to do is be one more voice telling you what is true, what is false, and how worried you should actually be. You don’t need that.
Actually, I take that back . . . I am going to tell you exactly how worried you should be. And trust me, you do need to hear this.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4-7 (NKJV)
“Be anxious for nothing . . . except maybe running out of drinking water.”
My Bible doesn’t say that. But it does say this:
Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ . . . For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. ~ Matthew 6:31-32 (NKJV)
And if that wasn’t clear (or relevant) enough . . .
. . . And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. ~ Matthew 10:28-31
Be anxious for nothing, do not worry, and do not fear.
Because your heavenly Father knows what you need.
Because you are of far more value to Him than many sparrows.
And because He wants His children to come to Him with their anxieties — the only reasonable place to take them — so that He can take them off your shoulders and, in exchange, wrap you in His perfect peace.
So keep calm. Wash your hands. Fear God. Love your neighbor.
And trust your future (and the futures of your neighbor, your family, your church, and the shelves at your local grocery store) to the wise care and almighty power of the One who keeps the moon from falling into the Pacific Ocean, who does not allow the tiniest of sparrows to fall to the ground apart from His will, and who knows every single thing that you need today, down to the last square of toilet paper.
~ Cassandra Marie