After reading a few articles yesterday regarding all the new rules and regulations in place for school, vacations, life in general… I thought to myself… I am not going to do very well in this brave new world that is being created. Kind of tongue-in-cheek, but also deadly serious, the arbitrary-ness of it all is truly taxing on the soul. In planning a little weekend away to the mountains, I came across these rock-solid recommendations:
If Covid-19 is like a mountain lion or a bear… well, we have more issues than I thought. It is not. And to compare it to a lurking predator is both ridiculous and reckless. Anyhow… you see here that the reasons for wearing a mask in the great outdoors are really just to help people with the “perception of compliance” rather than actually keep anyone healthy. The idea that everyone is compliant to government mandates just warms the heart doesn’t it?
Thankfully, as you see in the footnotes, these rules conveniently expire just after the election… because they are based in science!
I’m not trying to be snarky, I really just am trying to understand how we came to be so afraid of our own shadows. All common sense has left the building and we have created a society of fear-mongering control freaks. I had a friend get absolutely accosted in the grocery store by a group of teenage girls for not wearing her mask properly. What makes people act like this toward total strangers? The said group of girls cursed her out and then returned to their parent a few aisles away like nothing had even happened. I’m sure mom things they’re just the sweetest little things too. (Insert eye roll). It’s a question I ask myself all the day long now as I go about my masked business: what has happened to us?
The cancellation of all the things, the postponement of all the things… all in the name of remaining perfectly safe, it boggles the mind. The destruction of everyone’s emotional, spiritual, mental health… is it going to be worth it?
Walking through the mall the other day, I felt like I was on the set of a dystopian horror movie. Creepy announcements every few minutes, no eye-contact, signs everywhere telling us what to do or not do… no wonder people see this virus as a stalking mountain lion.
Help us Jesus.
I came across this wonderful article by John Piper and in reading what God has to say about fear has thankfully recalibrated my heart. This is what it comes down to friends, fearing God or fearing man.
“How could fear ever make us feel safe? How does the fear of the Lord conquer our fear of man? The prophet Isaiah begins to explain how:
Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. But the Lord of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he will become a sanctuary. (Isaiah 8:12–14)
Only when God becomes our greatest fear can he become our safest place. Let him be your fear, let him be your dread, honor him alone as holy, and he will become a sanctuary — a refuge from danger, a haven from wrath, a shelter in any storm.
The apostle Peter later picks up these verses when he writes to persecuted Christians, “Even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy” (1 Peter 3:14–15). To cure the fear of man, we must see the Christ who died for us as fearfully and wonderfully holy. To stop fearing wrongly, we must start fearing rightly. Again, Peter says,
Conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. (1 Peter 1:17–19)
Have no fear of men, but instead, live among men with a holy, trusting, even joyful fear of God. Don’t fall into the same snare that the Jews of Jesus’s day fell into, mistaking the Lamb’s wounds for weakness. Nothing we might fear is as powerful as this blood. No power of hell, nor praise of man, can compare with the staggering, even frightening, splendor of his majesty. Jesus is the dreadful King and Judge who has become a sanctuary — for all who believe and fear. Woe to us if we tremble before criticism and yawn before the cross.”
I’m not saying we need to go out and start licking doorknobs or anything, but if we do not get a collective grip on ourselves, I don’t see this ending very well. How is that done? By fearing the right things. We Christians need to stop being so blasé before the cross. Stop waiting for approval of man to tell you it’s ok to be a Christian. Stop seeing the mountain lion and start seeing Christ.
We absolutely tremble and fall all over ourselves for man-made solutions, while ignoring the real solutions that Jesus offers us.
This current culture thrives on criticism and control of others. We have to stop fearing what they fear. God has so very much to say about this in His word. Friends, if fear has taken root in your heart through all of this, Christ wants it out. We are fruit-bearers, not weed-growers. There has to be some evidence of fruit in us and it must translate over into this crazy world.
Salt and light. Fruit. That’s what Jesus makes us. Not cowards in a corner waiting for our next directive from man. Will they persecute us? Yes. By definition, yes.
Expect it, but do not fear it.
If God is small, peripheral, and relatively harmless, the shadows in the eyes of others will haunt us. Their expectations will corner us. Their disappointment will crush us. Their anger will undo us. To be free from the enslaving fear of others, God has to be big — bigger than their expectations, bigger than their disappointments, bigger than their anger, big enough to fear.John Piper
We don’t make Him big, He already is! Let’s adjust our perspective and stop being afraid of the shadows.