It was less than a year after September 11, 2001 and I found myself in New York for work. The absence of the Twin Towers on the New York skyline was confronting and jarring, seeing Ground Zero powerful and moving. A city changed forever. But what I remember most was the fear. As I went to board my plane at JFK International Airport to head home, I felt the fear. So strong it was almost tangible. It seemed to lie over the airport like a thick blanket. And for the first time, as our plane took off, I was scared. Fearful of a random crash or something….It was only in hindsight that I realised the impact that this atmosphere of fear had.
Today, as the world grapples with the coronavirus, as borders close and as countries go into lock down, fear lurks again. It’s evident in the empty supermarket shelves and sold out hand sanitizers. It’s present in conversations and people’s reactions. It seeks to dominate, to catch us up in its whirlwind.
But we don’t need to succumb to its ways. We have God. And God needs to be the focus of our attention. While we obey governmental directives and act practically and wisely each day to prevent the virus, we need not be in fear. Love drives out fear. And what is love, but God Himself. God is with us, promising us a future of hope. A future beyond the virus and all its repercussions.
“God met me more than halfway, He freed me from anxious fears.” (Psalm 34:4)