With every bit of news which comes on and every post we read on social media, we can feel our bodies tense. We can feel the stress. The fear of the unknown. We have never lived through this kind of uncertainty before. What if we get this virus? What if our loved ones do? What if there is a shortage of pharmaceuticals? What if we don't have a paycheck coming in? What if the company we work for goes under? What if I can't pay my bills? What if? What if? What if? And our stress level climbs.
My daughter went over to Asia in December to work remotely. She is still over there. From the first I heard about this virus, I started following it. I started to worry about her safety. As she moved from Vietnam to Thailand to Japan to Malaysia spending a month in each place, I followed the spread of the virus. People told me I was overreacting. "The flu is more deadly." they would say to me. I'd think, but 'We have a vaccine and treatments for the flu. This is something new.' Most seemed to dismissively poo-poo me. No one did more than my own family especially my daughter who kept telling me to "Stop!" But I somehow knew it was coming as I daily watched it spread.
Now that it is here in the United States and spreading, my daughter is concerned about me. I'm over 60 with a stent in my heart, the higher risk category; she is worried. The worry now goes both ways.
I've been praying a lot trying to curb the fear I feel.
Years ago I had read the book 2159 AD A History of Christianity by Craig Borlase, copyright 2009. In it he traces Christian history from A.D. 64 to A.D. 2159. Yes he makes up the history from A.D. 2009 to A.D. 2159 in very great detail! And it is very scary history! I remember it shocking me and it is why the book has stuck with me. The years 2001-2019 were The Calm Before the Storm. The years 2020-2062 were The Age of Endings. In the book the following three things brought the world to its knees: terrorism, pandemics and fuel-poverty. Honestly his made up future was a terrifying read, especially when he describes one 2016 pandemic (again, the copyright of the book was 2009) which kills 11 million people in seventeen months. The world economies collapse. Countries go under. I wonder what Borlase thinks now of the real events occurring in 2020. I wonder if it sends chills up his spine. It does mine.
In Borlase's book he weaves the history of the Church and world politics. Sadly, we see that there were many eras when the Church failed to be the Church. And in the ending years 2020-2062 - while terrorism and pandemics and fuel shortages are going on, the Church just collapses. In his made-up history there are few Western Christians left during those years and they go somewhat underground into house churches with no significant influence on the world. Christians fail others in the imaginary future.
And in the real history from A.D. 64 to 2009 Borlase tells us of those who have walked in profound faith; those who have shown us what it means to live as a Christian in a troubled world. We see glimpses of the Church being the Church.
But we Christians know the end of world history.
Why fear when death by stone or fire or nail or bullet or rope or bomb or toxin can never be the end of the story? ~ Craig Borlase
I think about that sentence. I cannot alter the circumstances the world is experiencing right now. I have no control over a toxin and economies. I have no control over the safety of my daughter across the world. I have no control over my own safety. But I trust in the One who does have control. And that is where our opportunity to witness to the world lies. We trust Him. They see us trust Him. The fear lessens.
If only we could grasp a little tighter the idea that our every breath, sound and movement adds definition to this story of Christianity. ~ Craig Borlase
We profess to be Christians. Let's show the world we won't live our lives in fear. Let's show them that Jesus reigns in our hearts. Let's serve and comfort the suffering. Let's share with the hurting. Let's live like we not only believe in Him, but that we trust Him with our future. Let's cling to our faith.
Do not fear.