While driving the Oregon Pacific Coast Highway you’ll occasionally see a sign that reads: TSUNAMI HAZARD ZONE . . . GO TO HIGH GROUND. If you happen to be sleeping, walking on the beach, or driving and hear a siren you must immediately run or drive to high ground. Don’t pack your clothes, comb your hair, or tidy your room . . . get to high ground. Sensible people respect such warnings and realize they’re not there to cause fear, but to protect them from disaster and death.
It occurred to me the present pandemic is an invisible tsunami that’s sweeping the world. We’re told “high ground” is isolation. And while isolation may protect us from the virus, it won’t protect us from the fear of sickness, death, job loss, financial loss, social upheaval, and political bedlam. Indeed, it may increase our fear as we obsess alone over the news and the losses we could face.
You know, of course, that we must run from our fears to God. He alone provides safety for our hearts and minds. But practically speaking, how do we do that? I would suggest when you feel fear reflect on these promises:
- “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him.” (Nahum 1:7)
- “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)
- “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust’” (Psalm 91:1).
It’s crucial we do more than read these promises, we must meditate on them. We must replace fear-inducing thoughts with them. Isaiah put it this way,
“You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3 NKJ).
To “stay” means to remain in the same place. We must keep our minds focused on these truths. As we do, the dangers around us may require prudent action, but they should not fill us with fear. Jesus promised: “Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid” (John 14:27 GNT).
C.S. Lewis gives perspective in a short piece: “How Are We To Live in an Atomic Age.” I’ve linked a YouTube reading of his thoughts below the partial quote. You’ll be glad you viewed it.
In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. “How are we to live in an atomic age?” I am tempted to reply: “Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.”
In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors—anesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.
This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.
— “On Living in an Atomic Age” (1948) in Present Concerns: Journalistic Essayshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxFmkg5dcyk&t=2s
My wife’s father died Tuesday night . . . and she never met him. Cindy was born in Kansas City, MO in a home for unwed mothers. She was adopted by Paul and Eleanor Hunt who were loving and caring parents. After their death, through the use of a private detective and DNA, we found her birth parents. Her mother was deceased. While her father still lived, due to decisions we don’t fully understand, she was never allowed to meet him. However, we have gotten to know her father’s younger brother and one of her sisters. These two people are proving to be wonderful friends and now, finally, she will get to meet them. I’ve linked a news story about his life and death. You may recognize him.
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