By Pastor Andy Plank
“Fear Not . . .”
March 15, 2020
It doesn’t take a mental giant to understand that we live in a world that is topsy-turvy right now. The precautions being taking to limit the spread of the Coronavirus have never been seen in our lifetimes. Sporting events cancelled…travel bans in place with more likely to come…limits on the number of people gathered in one place, it really is quite extraordinary. The Department of Correction has suspended families from visiting their incarcerated loved ones. Volunteers can’t come in to the prison either so most of the religious and educational programs for the inmates are on hiatus right now. The present economic situation is fragile as well. My brother, who works for the Music City Center in Nashville told me events there have been cancelled for at least the next two weeks, which means no paycheck for him (and thousands of others across the world) for the foreseeable future. Two words summarize our world right now and those words are fear and uncertainty. Do y’all remember a popular phrase used by Christian folks several years ago? It was actually a question that asked, “What would Jesus do?” That would be a good question to ask in our present situation. What WOULD Jesus do? I think I know and the answer just might surprise you. Jesus would be asleep! Remember an instance in the life of Jesus and His apostles when they were in a boat on the Sea of Galilee in the middle of a thunderstorm? The waves were splashing, the winds were blowing and the apostles were bailing water and rowing for their lives! Apostles like Peter, Andrew, James, and John made their living as fishermen on this very lake and they were scared spitless. With their very lives hanging in the balance they wondered where Jesus was. Jesus was hunkered down in the back of the boat asleep! The apostles are beside themselves. They wake Jesus up and ask Him how He could possibly sleep at a time like this. Jesus answered, “Relax Kids, I’ve got this” (that is actually Plank’s paraphrase…He really said, “Don’t be afraid, oh you of little faith!” You can read this for yourselves in Matthew 8:23-27 to make sure I am not making it up! Jesus calmed the wind the waves and the apostle’s fears. While the steps being taken by our local, national, and world leaders to slow down the Coronavirus are wise, it is also wise to not panic. Jesus had the wind and the waves under control and He has Coronavirus and everything else about our present (and future) situation in His control as well. The KJV of the Bible uses the term “Fear not” 103 times. So as a Pastor friend of mine said, “Don’t be afraid. Pray to Jesus. Have faith in Jesus. Wash your hands and use hand-sanitizer." May I add one more admonition to his? Leave at least one pack of toilet paper on the shelf at Walmart. Someone might have an emergency!
Now, be blessed and be a blessing…Bro. Andy