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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

The Undertow of Pandemic Fear

The undertow at our favorite childhood beach pulled my little brother, Ed, under the water and further from the shore. Inside the vicious swirl of water, Betty, an older cousin, fought to free Ed from the monster’s grasp.

Nearby sunbathers and swimmers ignored Betty’s cry for rescue assistance because the water did not appear to be deep. How could they be drowning?

A young man gazing at the ocean from his second-floor apartment window spotted my loved ones. Due to his vantage point, he recognized their peril in the undertow. He ran down the stairs, across the sand, and into the salty water. After swimming a short distance, he gripped my brother’s shoulders and yanked him from the water’s grasp. With panic in his eyes, Ed clung to the stranger—the one who saw the situation from above the beach and saved my brother’s life.

As we navigate the murky waters of coronavirus, a vicious spiritual enemy threatens to ensnare us in a riptide of panic. Try as we might, we cannot escape the pandemic. Although health professionals and government officials work as lifeguards to thwart the invisible enemy’s threat of illness and economic ruin, they offer only a measure of protection.

No human effort can turn fear into peace.

The good news is God sees our condition from the highest vantage point and offers rescue. Life’s circumstances sometimes churn like dreadful, stormy seas, but God extends His hand to offer peace. For those who do not know Christ yet, He offers forgiveness of sin and a personal relationship with Him now and throughout eternity (John 3:16).

To believers, Jesus holds out His hand to offer peace and freedom from viral waves of distress:

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” John 14:27 NASB

When COVID-19 news and economic woes assail us, how can we walk in victory during frightening times and share God’s peace with others?  

There are numerous Bible passages that instruct us to “fear not.” When we study those, as well as other verses, and commit some to memory, God helps us recall His truths and apply them to daily challenges. Recording our anxieties in a journal and discussing them with God as we pray remind us,

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1 NASB

After praying for others who struggle with worry, we can call or mail a note with Scripture to encourage them. When we share personal examples of God’s victory over fear, we demonstrate the value of trusting Him.

God offers peace to defeat the undertow of pandemic fear, and He allows us to share His truths with others. How can we extend His lifeline to someone this week?

Copyright © July 8, 2020, Jeannie Waters, used with permission.

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