By Kathi Pelton
There is so much fear right now and for the first time in my lifetime— it’s global! But rather than focusing on whether the fear and reactions to those fears are warranted or not, let’s respond to the reality that much of the world has become very afraid. There are those who feel alone and there are those who have real health issues or children (loved ones) that are vulnerable to illnesses– they feel afraid! There are people out there who have experienced traumas that have left them more susceptible to gripping fear and those who have never been shown true love. It really doesn’t matter what our opinions are regarding the source of the fear– what matters is our response as those who are to carry the love of Jesus to the world.
Right now a lot of people who are in fear are watching social media but will they merely see the body of Christ making light or even “mocking” their fear. Again, it doesn’t matter what your opinion is but what does matter is that the fear that many are experiencing is real and is paralyzing. So let’s be light, be hope, be compassion— be Jesus to them!
“For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
I’d like to draw your attention to the second half of this verse, “…but a spirit of power, love and of a sound mind.” I believe it’s time to arise during this time that so many have come under a spirit of fear and release the power of love and use the “sound mind” given to us to minister peace and hope in a world that is gripped with fear.
I saw a post today where someone was offering to go to the store or bring food or visit those who feel that they cannot leave their home (do to fear or who are elderly or fighting flu symptoms, etc.). What a great response!
What if part of the great harvest begins with His people loving a world that has been infected; not only by a virus but by a true spirit of fear? What if we respectfully offer to sit with them (even with a mask on if that is what helps them). What if we offer to run an errand or bring a meal or pray for them?
Or; even if all you can do is post words of love, peace, hope and encouragement on social media or through a personal email— let’s do that!
We can be Jesus in this and release a pandemic of love. Maybe if the churches have to close their doors then instead of being behind the doors of the church this Sunday we begin to visit the places that fear has been visiting? Why should fear get to have the last word when love can be offered like a cup of cool water on a scorching day?
We can joke about toilet paper shortages but let’s not mock those that are truly afraid. This is an opportunity to show love; what does love look like?
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
It does not dishonor. We need to walk and present a love that honors. Be sure that both in person and on social media that we are not dishonoring of those who are fearful. I read a post from a lady who lives nearby to our city saying that she wore a mask and gloves to the grocery store yesterday and people were mocking her, making comments about over-reacting and shaking their heads at her. Well, what people didn’t know is that she has a seriously ill child at home who’s immune system is highly compromised and she has to be extraordinarily careful to not bring home any virus! Wouldn’t it have been wonderful if someone had walked up to her and offered to pray for her or help carry her groceries? If just one person had stopped to offer love they would have seen seen the tears behind her mask.
We have an incredible opportunity to love right now. Let’s stop completely focusing on what the enemy is doing and ask Jesus what He would do. Of course we need to pray and take spiritual authority over sickness and fear but we also need to be the love of God to those in need at this time. Let’s band together as churches, as caring human beings, as communities, as Christians and ask Him what we can do and then go do it!
Fear may be an open door for love to come in! Go—>
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