Fear and the Unknown
No doubt we are in a time of apprehension and fear. These are new waters for many of us have never seen anything that compares with the fear associated with the Corona Virus. I find myself drawn to the news wondering of which school or university has shut down, which company is out of toilet paper and which sporting event has been cancelled. All this leads to an unsettled spirit and a state of internal agitation that is in a word... unsettling. But counselors, mentors, teachers and even presidents do little to soothe a troubled heart compared with the all surpassing greatness of the God we serve. He is our refuge and strength an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea. These are the opening lines of Psalm 46 and they have been an ointment to many a troubled soul through the years including mine this morning. My prayer for you during these uncertain times is that you will lean into God when you are afraid. That you will learn to hear his voice in the calm rather than the noise that is the news and social media. Let him be your guide, your light, your help and your hope when all around you screams to live in fear. Here are some other practical ideas to deal with your own fear and possibly that of your kids.
1. Limit the amount of television and social media you view during this time. Shut it off at least 1 hour before bed and let your mind rest so your body can follow.
2. Start and or end your day in God's word. Studies prove that regular reading of God's word lowers anxiety and fear. If you are too anxious to read try You Version Rest which is an app that has God's word read for you in the book of Psalms.
3. Practice good self care. You need outlets in your life to offload day to day stressors. Outlets include exercise, hobbies, talking with your loved ones etc. Physical activity is a great way to unload a days worth of stress.
4. Stop looking at your 401k or other retirement accounts. The only way you lose money is if you cash out in a panic. Let it ride and understand that fluctuations up and down are a normal part of our economic system.
5. Yet will I praise Him. These are the words of the prophet Habakkuk when doom was on the horizon. He purposed to praise God and instead of focusing on the circumstances he could not change, he focused on our God who does not change.