I felt the Lord say, “There is a pandemic on the Earth and its name is Fear.”
We can put a stop to it.
There is a menacing epidemic sweeping our planet right now, and its named Fear. Unless we take immediate steps to counteract, we are going to see this virus spread and do irreparable harm to our economy, mental health, and social structures. This pandemic is fed by 24-hour news outlets who know sensationalistic news draws in the viewers. It’s further transmitted by Social Media users who blindly pass on misinformation while failing to take the preventative advise given by educated, wise, and moderate professionals.
The latest strain of this Fear Virus is in the form of the Coronavirus scare, the 2020 media darling of 2020. This pandemic is fueled by alarmist propaganda machines. Please hear me out; I am not saying that Coronavirus is something that we should ignore. It’s wise to be prepared and to practice good hygiene, just like any other flu season. We need to be taking care of ourselves and those around us. Washing hands, avoiding touching our faces, staying home when we are ill, sneezing into our sleeve or a one-use tissue. These are all simple precautions we should practice year-round.
The Canadian government has always encouraged its citizens to have a small kit ready with a 3-day supply of water, food, blankets, flashlights, and medication for each member of the family – just in case of an emergency. This information has been readily available on the Canadian government’s site for years. News Channels have presented this information on their programming in recent days as if it is a new directive from our government. It is not. It has always been there, and the news outlets know it. After all, these same news agencies pointed people to that information during blizzards and ice storms in the past.
However, as people continuously watch network news who are continuously covering this story because people are always watching the story, a vicious cycle appears. Fear grows. Panic rises, selfishness ensues, people make foolish decisions. Hoarding and looting begin.
Irrational fear can grip a nation
Case in point, Australia takes great pride in its resilient and robust can-do attitude. Nothing keeps that nation down for long. Only a few weeks ago, Australians faced horrific forest fires across their land. They came together to help each other out. Christians prayed for rain, and the rains finally came. Not even two months later, Australians have effectively wiped out the nation’s supply of toilet paper. Pun intended. Fistfights are breaking out in parking lots over bottled water when there is plenty of pure water available at kitchen sinks.
Stores have hired extra security to prevent looting, not only in Australia but across North America. Hand sanitizers and face masks are entirely sold out, much to the dismay of those who need these items; cancer patients, those with compromised immune systems, and those who work with the elderly. The toilet paper hoarding frenzy has broken out in North America, even though the Coronavirus is a respiratory virus and not a digestive system virus.
Where there is fear, bring truth. Where there is panic, bring the Prince of Peace.
Yes, irrational fear is highly infectious and a highly dangerous pandemic. The ramifications of global fears are evident in airlines laying off staff, cruises cancelled, and major events postponed. Within my province, a major Bank closed two of its branches due to the fear that one of their employees might have the virus. In Europe, vast sections of major cities are in lockdown. Officials are closing schools. Ignorance reigns supreme as people are avoiding Asian restaurants. Students are openly harassing foreign students in the United States.
We have the power to stop the madness in our circles of influence at least. The Bible commands us to NOT fear. “Fear not” is found 11 times in the NKJV. “Do not fear,” 25 times. Paul reminds Timothy, a persecuted pastor and his spiritual son, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Tim 1:7
Where there is fear, bring truth. Where there is panic, remember you represent the Prince of Peace. When there is the temptation to hoard, prefer others above yourself. Resist selfishness. When paranoia and suspicion creep into the atmosphere, get your facts straight. Do your research. Confront those who pass on hearsay but do so with respect and not with disdain.
Concerning the current Coronavirus Pandemic:
Don’t rely on catchy memes on social media. Remember 24/7 news channels have to fill their day somehow and they usually do so by repeating the same doom and gloom news every hour on the hour. When so-called ‘experts’ begin to dissect the story, it’s time to change the channel. These experts are there to give their opinions, and they are not there in any official capacity. They are not there to provide you with advice you can take to heart. They are there to keep you hooked to your screen.
Search official government and regional health authority websites. Declare God’s goodness, above all else. Resist anxiety. Do your research by going to official websites of government health authorities. Look for facts, read press releases from official agencies yourself.
Be kind to those who struggle with anxiety and fear but dispel their irrational fears with facts. Speak of God’s character and his protection. Point out practical things they can do to help not only themselves but those around them. Obedience to fear will transform us into paranoid, suspicious, and selfish creatures.
Keep your focus on the task God set before you. Ignore fear, speculation, and mob mentalities that try to distract you from that task. Nehemiah was bombarded continuously by naysayers and opponents. He responded to their truth twisting and so-called invitations to ‘discuss the situation at hand’, with, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?” Neh 6:3
Inoculate yourself from fear with a healthy dose of God’s promises and follow a strict regimen of keeping your hand to the plough by doing the work he has set before you. Let’s determine to create a pandemic of peace, health, and hope!
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All Bible verses attributed to the ESV version unless otherwise indicated.
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Until Next Week,
©2020 Katherine Walden