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Coronavirus and the Invisible Enemy

by Steve Clark

Everywhere in the Philippines, just like in the US, the focus of our daily talk has become the Coronavirus, or as many people have renamed it, the Invisible Enemy.  We say it is invisible because we can’t see it, but how do we know it is an enemy?  It is because we CAN see the effects of its work, its attempts to destroy the bodies of those it invades.  Of course, that causes us to have an immediate fear of the enemy, but what happens next is what I would like to talk about.

UNDERSTANDING FEAR – Fear is a natural reaction to something that can cause us harm, but we do have a choice of how we will then respond to the fear. Do we fight?  Do we run?  Do we worry?  Or is there another option?   In all of the Bible, no command is more often repeated than “Fear Not” or “Be Not Afraid.”  Imagine that!  Why is so much importance placed on that concept, especially when we just said that fear occurs naturally?   I believe an easier way to understand the command is to say “Stop being fearful,” or “Stop being afraid!”  So how do we stop being fearful?  Fear is not a choice, but how we handle it IS our choice.  We know that the first step is to say, “I will find a way to stop being fearful,” since God has given that instruction, but what method will we use?

 
CHOOSING TO WORRY – For many, their choice for eliminating fear is to begin worrying.  You worry to distract yourself from feeling the fear and to distract yourself from accepting that there are some aspects of life that are out of your control.  The fear doesn’t go away.  It is just covered up!  Fear is unavoidable, worry is avoidable.  Worrying pretends to be necessary, but it’s not proactive and it’s not helpful. Worry is just “junk food” for your fears, so we must CHOOSE to eliminate worry as our reaction to fear.  So what are the other choices?  Before we get to that, let’s talk about that “Invisible Enemy!”

THE INVISIBLE ENEMY – This term may be currently used to describe the virus, but I believe we all know the true “Invisible Enemy.”  Like the virus, we cannot see Satan, but we can see the effects of his work.  We see war, and division, and broken, unfulfilled lives.  We know that if God’s word has told us more times than anything else NOT to worry, what do you think Satan wants to do?  He wants to find things that make us fearful so that we WILL worry. That shows we are not relying on God’s truth!  Anne Graham once said, “Worry is practical atheism.”  Why would she say that?   Because if we say that we believe that God cares about us, and is in control of our lives, then worry is the exact opposite of what we say we believe.   Worry is like a rocking chair. It will give you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.

 
SOCIAL MEDIA DISTANCING – I know that we all have learned what Social Distancing is, but I would like to suggest a new term – “Social MEDIA Distancing.”  When people are staying in their homes longer during this trying time, many are using social media like Facebook to spread their thoughts even more, and most are spreading thoughts of worry.  Distance yourself from this onslaught of negative thoughts, and, now that you have more time, spend some more of that time in God’s Word!  Or even better, use that same social media to spread POSITIVE thoughts and ideas that God is sharing with you as you read his word.

SO WHAT IS THE CORRECT RESPONSE? – I believe the correct and opposite reaction to choosing WORRY as a response to our fear is to choose RELIANCE as the response.  We rely on God to do what He has said in his word. Sure, we take precautions, and we listen to advice from doctors and others, but those thoughts should not be what consumes our daily thoughts and actions.    Instead, we should be spreading the GOOD news, now and always, about the existence of a God and a Savior who care about us and who have  a great plan for our lives, and who are more powerful than ANY Invisible Enemy!     (Oh, and keep washing those hands!)                                                          

 

-Steve Clark




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The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 10:10