I go to bed every night these days and thank God for health. None of my immediate family is infected. I get up every morning and am grateful for no headache or cough. I haven’t always been that intentional. I have six grandchildren, the product of my two children. My daughter and her brother chose very wisely in their selection of a mate. These ten people are the most important people in my life. I always pick up their phone call and answer their text. I’ve been known to jump on a plane or in a car at a moment’s notice to race to their side. I would spend my last dollar for their benefit. I’m a mother and a grandmother.
The enemy is well aware of my weakness for these people. I am an easy target for his arrows of fear if I am not careful. Just this morning I was awakened by a text from a neighbor and before I could go back to sleep, the thought crossed my mind. My son and his family were flying home early this morning, what if their plane crashed or they contracted coronavirus on the flight? Fear for those we love is perhaps the most crippling fear that can come upon us.
I do not confess this with any pride, in fact, I’m ashamed. I am the Queen of “What If”. I have lived in crippling fear and heart-pounding anxiety. For many years I lived in the land of half empty and imagined every possible catastrophe. Bad news would send me into a tail spin of “never” comments and attitudes. Finally, I had enough and stepped into the realm that Jesus wants to bring to all of us.
The Bible is chock full of “do not be afraid” scriptures but I want us to think on Psalm 34:7 today. It is not a “do not be afraid” scripture, it is the reason for us to not be afraid. “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.” (ESV) The New Living Translation says “For the angel of the Lord is a guard, he surrounds and defends all who fear him.” The angel of the Lord is a guard around my loved ones. He surrounds them. He delivers them. My family is under constant care of an angel army. The simple fact is that when I refuse to relinquish them to His care, I remove them from the very one who can save them.
I recently read a quote from Elisabeth Elliot. (If you don’t know her story, google her!) She spoke right into my life, “There is no grace for your imagination”. Right? Be there a mother who hasn’t imagined the worst? Paul must have known some mothers when he admonished the Corinthians to take their thoughts captive. In other words, QUIT imagining the worst, think instead about the angel of the Lord who is standing guard around your loved ones. Change your thoughts to what is true in this moment. The truth is that almighty God surrounds you and yours.
Think on that for a while.