In these wildly unsettling and uncertain times, as the world anxiously waits for the COVID-19 pandemic to pass, fear has become a dominant, prevailing force, swiftly wreaking havoc on our inner beings and upending any sense of normalcy we’ve managed to hold onto.
It is during times such as these, however, when our natural, human instinct is to fear, that the truth of God’s word becomes increasingly important to hold fast to, laying it over every lie or thought that tries to take us captive.
2 Corinthians 10:5 implores us to do just that:
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
So, while fear of the coronavirus, of the future, and of the unknown tries to bring us into captivity, let us remember this: God said, says, and continues to say: fear not!
As written in 2 Timothy 1:7:
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
Indeed, we are told not only not to fear, but that fear is not from God! He has not given us a spirit of fear, but of POWER and of LOVE and of a SOUND MIND.
The prayer below from theologian and Trappist monk Thomas Merton (1915-1968) — as found in his book, Thoughts in Solitude (1958) — is a beautiful reminder of this truth, and a much-needed, soothing remedy for anxious souls during this unprecedented time.
“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I think I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”
- “Worry, Not: Søren Kierkegaard on What We Can Learn from the Birds of the Air and Lilies of the Field“
Also from Thomas Merton:
- “Thomas Merton on the Necessity of Solitude for a Healthy Society“
- “Claiming Responsibility for Our Lives: Thomas Merton on Discovering Meaning and Purpose Within“
- “Be Still: The Desert Fathers on the Value of Solitude“
- “Maria Shriver on the Courage to Recreate Our Lives“
- “‘I Love the Word Impossible’: Ann Kiemel on Our ‘Giant of a God’“