Fear in Perspective
The Lord is My Salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid. (Psalm 27:1. Read Psalm 27 in its entirety.)
There is a difference between fear and prudence. There is a difference between courage and folly. It is said that courage is prayer that has said its prayers. I believe that prudence is concern that has prayerfully explored the interplay of cost and benefit to our behaviors. There is also the confidence that inspires courage and prudence that comes from trusting the living God.
Those of us who have risk factors during this time of pandemic or those of us who worry that we may be carriers would do well to take the Psalmist’s words seriously, “The Lord is my salvation, whom shall I
fear?” God is my ultimate safety net and security. I am in God’s care and nothing can separate me from the love of God. Not even the Coronavirus, not even sickness and death. Not even my own foolishness.
That doesn’t mean that “Jesus is my vaccine” and I should act in foolhardy ways during this time or risk the wellbeing of others for my own gratification or false sense of freedom. It does mean that I trust God with my life, knowing that God will have the final say, in life and death, and that God’s final word is Love.
I wear my mask in public. I am careful about what I touch. We sterilize our groceries at home. I wash my hands and carry hand sanitizer with me. This is prudent and trust in the wisdom God has given me. I also reach out to others safely. Bless everyone I encounter on the beach, quietly and without fanfare. Like you, I am willing to rush out with my mask on if someone is in need, trusting God’s ultimate care, despite my risk factors that may put me in the 5%-10% range of mortality.
In words spoken at George Floyd’s Memorial Service, “God is our stronghold.” Trust God, honor your fears, place them in God’s hands, and live lovingly, gracefully, and with compassion. If God is with me, whom – or what – shall I fear?
Help me recognize my fears, but not be overwhelmed by them. Let me trust you, O God, in all things. Seeking your grace and blessing, and giving grace and blessing to all whom I meet. Amen.