A couple weeks, while driving home from the church office, I heard the news of the shooting in San Bernardino. At the time, the reports were saying there were potential casualties but they did not know much other than the location of the shooting. As reports started pouring in confirming multiple casualties, my concern grew. When the news reported the shooting occurred at an environmental health holiday party and that the perpetrators of this horrible crime were fellow employees, my thoughts went immediately to my husband, Eric.
Eric is an environmental health specialist, just like the victims and the two armed extremists who cruelly murdered fellow employees. He works for a nearby county and I knew he was safe but it still hit home for me. I called him right away. He was ok but there was worry around his office for possible targeting of other environmental health agencies. It was a long few hours until my husband was safely home. We later found out that this was an isolated event but it did not keep us all from fear and worry.
The definition of fear is “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.” Fear is unpleasant. It is our body’s natural threat assessment response that we have no control over. It is a natural human emotion.
How about worry?
The definition of worry is “to give way to anxiety or unease; allow one's mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles.” Worry is the next phase of fear. It occurs when we give way to anxiety or unease. We’ve all done that-given way to anxiety and unease. We know worry doesn’t get us anywhere but we find it hard to think otherwise.
Worry. We worry about the possible threats all around us. We worry about our marriages, our kids, our finances, our futures. We worry about messing up or being rejected. We worry about big things, little things, and everything in between.
There is an antidote to fear and worry. I know we know this. But, friends, we need the reminder afresh:
· Let’s guard and lead our heart. Refuse to allow fear and worry to take root in our mind and heart. Give our worries and fears to God. “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7
· Let’s focus our mind on The Truth in the midst of uncertain times. No matter what happens on this side of eternity, we belong to God and His promise is to care for us no matter what! Threats will come but remember God’s words in Isaiah 41:10 “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
· Let’s encourage each other as Isaiah 35:4 instructs, “Say to those with fearful hearts, ‘Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.’”
Be encouraged. Do you have things you are worried and fearful about? Tell God. He cares about what concerns you. Let the truth of His words strengthen and hold you up in uncertain times.
…I wrote this blog over a few days but before I had a chance to submit it, my daughter’s school was struck by the threat of a potential predator who is targeting young girls walking to school. Did I heed my own counsel that I just wrote about? A big fat NOPE!
I worried first and got all worked up…and then had to give myself a serious talking to…”Rachel, be strong, and do not fear. God is going to keep your daughter safe. He is with her. Give your worry to God. Trust Him to do what only He can do.”
This is not about getting it right once and for all. This is about the struggle. The struggle is real, but so is God… It’s nice to know He has us covered.