What do you fear the very most right now? You know the news, and you know the severe responses to the current global and local crisis. It is far too easy to get self-righteous when you see people fighting over toilet paper or promoting crazy political conspiracy theories. With a knowing cock of an eyebrow we dismiss their behavior, thinking I would never do that.
Self-reflection is good, however. What you fear the most is a revelation of the altar at which you worship. If you are the center of your own solar system, you tend toward extremes because extremes are easier to grab. So we hoard supplies or hide in a bunker waiting for the apocalypse.
Even though Covid-19 is the fear du jour, it might as well be economic collapse, climate change or nuclear war. We never run out of candidates.
King David sat on his porch and penned a psalm (see Psalm 29) while he watched a violent storm blow across the Middle Eastern landscape. It was a loud storm that tore down trees, started fires, threw pregnant forest mothers into labor and brought floods. But the psalm’s camera angle turned heavenward, where it caught the shout of a massive heavenly audience (who needed no social distancing) crying, “Glory!” What’s the point? In Psalm 29 the crowd in the presence of the King got to see every event on earth from God’s perspective (see also Revelation 19:1-4). Talk about a big-screen, multi-media adventure!
How can you have two individuals looking at the same event with one paralyzed in fear and the other energized in worship? Perspective.
Our problem is that we look at the things we fear as threats to our peace when we should be looking at them as displays of the glory of God.
The biblical response is to never let fear turn you from loving God and loving those made in His image. Fear becomes sinful when you and I treasure love of self over love for God and others.
That means that our lives should advertise our trust in the God who is both sovereign in the affairs of man and who is also good. It means that we should protect others before we protect ourselves. It may even mean that we take personal risks, like healthcare workers are doing to serve others.