How’s your blood pressure?
COVID-19 is leading to lock-downs the likes of which we have not seen in generations.
The share market is taking everyone on a downward spiral that not even the scariest amusement park ride can emulate.
The economy seems to be seeking refuge in the subsoil.
Not only have spectators been locked out of AFL games, the season has been put on hold at least until the end of May, while almost all professional, amateur and social sport has been cancelled.
And… dare I ask how your toilet paper supplies are holding up?
Fear is a powerful emotion. It has the capacity to destroy rationality, destroying our ability to think clearly and make sensible decisions. In fact, fear is often scarier than reality, as the power of our imaginations is immense.
It is interesting then that the most common command in the Bible – both Testaments – is “Fear Not,” appearing over 200 times. The command is not a “stick your head in the sand” approach, but one which is attached to a promise: “For I am with you,” says the Lord.
Of course, there are pressures upon us that we have not seen before. The unknowns which attach the challenges do raise significant questions for different people. When the disciples (experienced fishermen) began to fear for their lives as waves swamped their boat on the Sea of Galilee, Jesus asked them, “Where is your faith?”
It is a good question… in what is our trust? When all was said and done, Job reached that point of acceptance and trust: “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2) Job knew that God’s purposes were good, and therefore could trust God in the midst of his difficulties. Can we?
Of course, this does not rule out the responsibility we have to be sensible in our actions and responses, which is why so many of us are now isolated at home. While we may be physically distanced, let’s work hard to keep connected with one another, to keep our spirits encouraged!
Rev Dr Gary Heard is Academic Dean at Trinity College Theological School and senior lecturer in Pastoral Theology and Ministry studies.