“Don’t be afraid! Just trust me..” (Luke 8:50)
The current Coronavirus pandemic has ushered in a time of unprecedented uncertainty and anxiety for the world, as we seek to navigate life through constantly changing news, statistics and recommendations. Each day we hear of more cases, more closures, more deaths. Excess buying continues, the media is awash with facts and fiction as to what we should or should not be doing as panic has spread like wildfire across social media platforms where prophets of doom abound, feeding fear and alarm to many, while others look for leadership to government and health officials. Some people have found that they have had to turn away from social media over past weeks, as well-meaning friends constantly flood their pages with gloomy predictions and pessimism, having been caught up in the tidal wave of COVID-19 terror.
Uncertainty and trial were no strangers to those living in Jesus’ day. Living under the oppression of Roman occupation in an age where there were no hospitals, social services or unemployment insurance, people were left to survive with what they had. Prophets of doom and worrywarts abounded then too, and Jesus encountered many.
Consider the account in Luke 8: 49-54 where Jesus heals Jairus’ daughter. A messenger arrives to tell Jairus that his daughter has died. He tells Jairus that there is no point troubling Jesus because it is too late. Jesus reaches the home which was filled with mourners and declares that the little girl is not dead but only sleeping. Many scoffed at his words. What was his response? He banished unbelief, shutting the doubters out. Verse 51 tells us that he did not allow anyone into the child’s room except three disciples and the child’s parents, where he then raised the little girl back to life.
Jairus himself had a choice. When the messenger first came to give the news that his daughter had died, he didn’t give in to fear, but instead chose to listen to Jesus’ words:
“Don’t be afraid! Just trust me, and she’ll be all right.” (verse 50)
In this climate of uncertainty and fear, who are we choosing to listen to? It is important of course to tune in to news, and to keep up with current events, but also to tune in to God’s voice to avoid anxiety and fear. The One who has overcome the world has promised us peace in the midst of trouble (John 16:33)
The prophet Isaiah declared that if we just look to the earth, all we will see is distress and trouble, warning that we will be thrust into darkness (Isaiah 8:22). The prophets of doom say look to the earth, look at the trouble, the awful things on the news, but the Lord says, “Look to Me!”
“Let all the world look to me for salvation! For I am God; there is no other” (Isaiah 45:22)
Let’s keep our eyes and ears fixed on Jesus through these uncertain times!
Prayer: Father, thank you that you have promised us peace in the midst of trouble. Help us to listen less to those who spread fear and despair, and more to you and your word. In Jesus Name we pray, Amen.