In the Stillness

Are you feeling fearful today? You are not alone.

I know a lot of people are very anxious right now regarding the COVID-19, or Coronavirus. My daughter is on the other side of the country as I write this. She will be safely home again in ten days, but still, I worry about her return flight, the crowded airport, and a bunch of worst case scenarios playing out in my imagination. I also have several friends whose loved ones are traveling internationally, bringing their families a whole new level of concerns.

How do we remain calm amidst all the chaos — even as we try to go about our normal lives? And how do we discern fact from fiction? The disinformation being spread through rumors and social media only feeds our fears. The chatter has become overwhelming.

Let’s all take a breath.

Turn off the noise. Be still . . . and just . . . listen.

God’s Calming Voice

It’s time to quiet our hearts and seek the calming peace and stillness found only in the Lord’s presence.

I’d like to share some of my favorite Scripture verses that always help calm my fears when I am feeling frightened or anxious. You may wish to write them down and carry them with you as daily reminders of God’s ever-present love.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” — II Timothy‬ ‭1:7‬

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;” — Philippians‬ ‭4:6‬

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” — Joshua‬ ‭1:9‬

“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ — Isaiah‬ ‭41:10‬

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” — Matthew‬ ‭6:34‬

If your children are feeling anxious too, you may wish to share these simple verses with them. Let them know that God hears their prayers and is always nearby to offer His comfort, any time of the day or night.

“Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.” — Psalms‬ ‭56:3‬

“I sought the LORD, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears.” — Psalms‬ ‭34:4‬

Always remember: there is no problem too great for God to handle. Trust that He is in control through this challenging time. Remember often to stop and listen for His voice, and know that you rest in the palm of His hand.

Our Dwelling Place

Recent news stories have reported on the terrible droughts, red tides, wildfires, and tornadoes ravaging our nation. And now we are keeping a wary eye on the horizon as we chart a major hurricane taking aim at the mid-Atlantic coastline. There doesn’t seem to be an end to this onslaught of natural disasters.

When you hear the heart-wrenching stories and see the photos of the lives that are impacted by these events, do you ever ask, “Where are you, Lord?”

I think this is a common question today, and I confess that I sometimes struggle to find comfort in the midst of turmoil, whether natural or man-made. The only place I can turn for answers is my Bible. God’s Word is my greatest source of comfort and peace, and I know that I am not alone.

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.””
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭91:1-2‬

“If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭91:9-10‬

By the grace of God, my family has never suffered such a disaster. I can only imagine the fear and anguish that follow the devastating loss of life and home.

But when the storm has passed, I am once again reminded of the healing power of God’s love, and the promise of hope. We see people coming together — often total strangers — as neighbors and communities care for one another and help to rebuild shattered lives.

Where is God?

  • He is in the healing hands that comfort the broken-hearted.
  • He is in the outstretched arms embracing the frightened children.
  • He is in the tired feet of the aid workers, providing clothing, meals and shelter to disaster victims.

This is truly how Jesus wanted us to respond to our brothers and sisters in need. He is our dwelling place before, during and after the storm.