“Do not be afraid” is a refrain that echoes throughout scripture. Some estimate that there are 366 versions of “Do not be afraid” throughout the Bible. Conveniently, that’s enough for one everyday even in a leap year.
I think we make a mistake when we hear scripture telling us that fear isn’t real or that we are wrong to feel scared. Or that if we are afraid that somehow it means we don’t have faith in God.
For me, Psalm 23 (link) helps to hold to very important realities in tension: The first is that there are scary things out there; the second is that we don’t have to be afraid because God is with us.
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me.” Psalm 23:4a
Or if you prefer the King James Version, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.”
The uncertainty that marks so much of daily life right now is plenty of reason to be scared. Consider all the things you can call to mind right now–they are all real and scary.
Amidst it all, Jesus is with us and he doesn’t have to abide by the CDC’s guidance on social distancing. Whatever you are going through, Jesus is with you.
Jesus is the voice reminding you to breathe. He’s the one telling you to take it one day at a time.
Even in fearful, uncertain times, may we have eyes to see how our cups run over with blessings and may our hearts receive the comfort of the Good Shepherd who holds us fast.