One thing I’ve noticed this winter as incidents of Covid increase– is that my fear levels rise too.
I see this in me on a couple fronts.
Fear of the virus itself.
It’s so random and unpredictable. Some people who have gotten it breeze through it, others have had a very hard time with it. Some have died. I fear being one of those who have a hard time. To be fair.. I’m also afraid of getting a common cold and the breathing issues that come with that. Let alone Covid. I also fear getting the flu. This fear isn’t new for me, but has been worse since my stroke.
Then too, there’s also the social ramifications of what it would mean to come down with Covid. Fear there as well. The possible impact to jobs and finances, church, etc. (our own and others’ as well). There’s also having to deal with doctors and being right in the middle of the conflict of it with people on both sides over-reacting, as well as trying to pressure me into doing what they think is best. (Bless them). I mean, there’s a certain grace to being healthy and outside of all that. But if I get sick, that would put me right in the middle of it all.
I’ve noticed though that when I give into the fear, and focus there, and let myself dwell on those thoughts and feelings of fear, then all around me as well as inside me feels very dark, dismal and depressed. My self-thoughts and self-talk and overthinking/worry are all ramped up and in a tizzy about what I’m afraid of maybe having to experience. And even if I’m seemingly quiet about it to others’, the tension and anxiety of it is there in the background dogging at me.
But when I say no to the fear and the overthinking and worry and self-focus of it,
When I act brave (even when I don’t necessarily feel brave)
“Get thee behind me, Satan!”
And …my self-talk changes to God’s promises and God’s control of the situation,
And …I stay in a positive faith about it all,
And …speak words of desiring to glorify God no matter what he asks…
Then I actually FEEL feelings of bravery.
Bravery begets bravery.
It’s kind of amazing.
The truth is I’m not brave. I’m that fearful person described at the beginning of this article.
I always have been.
My entire life.
But when I’m being brave, even if I have to force myself to do it—
Then feelings of bravery follow!
Being fearful is not right in God’s eyes.
If it were Jesus would’ve said, “There, there, it’s okay to feel afraid; I understand” instead of saying, “Don’t fear” over 300x.
But… ‘I don’t want to lie and not be truthful about how I feel’.
That’s in there, yes, I will give you that.
But how I feel is not a license to keep sinning.
Act the way you’re supposed to act and the feelings will come.
Do what’s right and the feelings of right will follow.
Obey God… Love God… and you will be brave.
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