I am just going to be really honest here. I have held my fear and anxiety at bay pretty well so far in this crisis, but yesterday when Dallas ordered a shelter in place, I pretty much lost it. Like I full out panicked and cried like a baby. I do not know why I let that spirit of fear take a hold of me, maybe because I have one kid in Oklahoma and one in College Station, one here with asthma, a nine-month-old granddaughter, a diabetic husband, and probably a little good ole selfish concern. I am not really afraid of getting sick as much as I am afraid of spreading it to the ones I love.
This morning as I opened up my Bible study, it opened to a couple of days ahead of where I am supposed to be. I am going through the Trustworthy Bible study by Lisa Terkeurst, and I am currently in the chapter about King Hezekiah. It’s Monday and I was planning on starting this week in order with Day 1 but I accidentally (not) opened to day 4 and the words staring at me were “It’s easy to believe God when everything goes according to our plans” – Lysa Terkeurst. I knew instantly that I wanted to know what the rest of the words on the next couple of pages said. Hezekiah was a good king. When he began his reign as king, the people had been worshipping false gods for years. He was the one king who finally obeyed God’s commands to remove the places of false worship. At the beginning of his reign, Hezekiah had strong faith and trust in the Lord. He did great things and led the people fully trusting God and living his life in exaltation to His divine power, with unwavering trust and faith. But then…Hezekiah gets sick. The prophet Isaiah came to him and told him that he needed to get his affairs in order because he was going to die. His faith and trust turn to fear and doubt. I know my faith would take a big dive in this case too. He prayed a very different prayer to God, turning his face to the wall. He was completely despondent, asking God to remember that he had been faithful and devoted, and then he wept bitterly.
But then God sent Isaiah back to Hezekiah with some beautiful words. He said Go back and tell Hezekiah, the ruler of my people, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the Lord. 2 Kings 20:5 Those are beautiful words to a fearful and hopeless heart.
Hezekiah was a strong, Christian leader, full of faith and trust. But when he got sick and was told he was going to die, he lost all faith and hope, a totally understandable human reaction. We all can be knocked down by fear easily these days. Authorities and media are both painting terrifying pictures of what is happening in the world and when I felt like it was going to happen here too, I let my faith waver. No, I let it crash for a couple of hours.
I know God is in control. I know that nothing will happen to any of us unless He allows it. I know He is sovereign and good. But I forgot what I know for a minute. I let fear take away the truth.
I am not closing my eyes to how serious this is, nor am I ignoring the recommendations, I am definitely not downplaying this, but I am saying that we can’t let it shake our faith because then the devil wins. If he can shake our faith in an all-powerful God that we profess with our lips, and have given our hearts to, he will take our minds. We cannot let him in. Trust what you know – that God is in control; that God is more powerful than this disease, and that He hears our cries, He sees our tears, and He will heal us.