In our current circumstances I feel we cannot avoid the fear that seems to be pressing down on many. For Christians like me, there is an internal battle ensuing around our fear and our faith; how do we make the two coincide when everything we know seems to be removed from beneath us? The dictionary defines fear as “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone/something is dangerous or likely to cause pain.” It also defines faith as “having complete trust or confidence in someone/something.” I think what makes all the difference in this time is which of these two we allow to be more prominent in our lives.
To have complete trust and confidence in something (faith) is extremely tough to do. It means making ourselves vulnerable to the possibility of being let down - which I, for one, struggle with deeply. I think that what I need in these times - and I’m sure you do too - is hope. Hope that we are not in this battle alone, that someone greater is fighting for us and working on our behalf.
This premise reminded me of a story I heard once about a mother bird. This story takes place after a forest fire while some forest rangers were trekking up the mountain to assess the damages. One of the rangers found a bird, blackened to a crisp huddled against the base of a tree. The ranger bumped the bird with his foot and as he did three tiny chicks scurried out from underneath her wings; alive and well. Apparently the mother bird had sensed the impending danger and had brought her babies to the base of the tree where she gathered them under her wings for protection. Though the mother could have easily flown away to safety she decided to remain, sacrificing herself for the love of her chicks. This kind of love is referred to as agape: the willingness to lay down one’s life for another.
Though this is only a story, I still think it paints a beautiful picture of what sacrificial love looks like. The Bible paints us a very similar picture in Psalm 91:4, saying, “He [God] will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge”. When the flames of fear and trial seem to surround us, this verse assures us that there is one in whom we can find refuge. John 3:16 presents the ultimate parallel to the mother bird, wherein God declares that “he so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son [Jesus], that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” In this verse, Jesus exemplifies agape love by laying down his own life to save us, his children. His dying meant our living.
If there is a God that loves me and you that much, what better place could we put our trust and confidence in during these times? I believe that everyone has fear and everyone has faith to some degree, we just place it in different things. I choose to place my faith in Christ because I know His love for me is bigger than my fear of what is occurring around the world. We all have that choice. You have that choice. Will you place your faith in Christ, or in fear? I believe that one provides hope and the other despair, but the choice is ultimately yours. I leave you with this verse from 1 John 4:18, which says “There is no fear in love, rather perfect love casts out all fear.”