Fear is the Real Killer

man wearing face mask

Photo by Korhan Erdol on Pexels.com

I have experienced absolute terror. The fear went on for many months in varying degrees of severity. It wrecked my body and my mind.  What could possibly have been so fearsome?

I felt so sick that I thought I might die. But what turned out to be far more damaging than that sickness was the extreme fear. Because of my fear, I was unable to sleep.  Because I was unable sleep, I became sicker.  Because I became sicker, my fear became unbearable. Because my fear became unbearable, I lost even more sleep.  I began to have horrific panic attacks and became obsessed with the idea of slitting my throat with a kitchen knife.

Do you see? Fear is the real killer.

This so-called pandemic (panic epidemic?) has me worried, not because I think Covid-19 will kill me or my family, but because the news media is deliberately spreading panic and fear.  It is affecting my kids, and it breaks my heart.

Fear creates enormous stress. And stress, when chronic, can be very damaging. We don’t know if that damage is reversible. (1)  Therefore, it makes sense to try very hard to make an accurate assessment of risk so that we will be motivated to take effective action in order to increase our level of safety, and at the same time,  not give in to undue or prolonged fear.

Our creator knows that fear hurts our bodies, our minds, and our hearts. Therefore, he inspired Bible writers to record many reminders for us not to fear, but to have courage. Here is just one:

“Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be anxious, for I am your God. I will fortify you, yes, I will help you. I will really hold on to you with my right hand of righteousness.” – Isaiah 41:10

God is telling us that our reason for courage is not because there is nothing dangerous out there, but because we can have his help just by asking for it in faith. He doesn’t want us to live in fear, but to rely on him.  He has even given us a reason not to fear death itself:

“…the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out…” – John 5:28

“He will swallow up death forever, and the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will wipe away the tears from all faces…” – Isaiah 25:8

For most people, death is not the end.  It is the beginning. What comes after will be beyond our imagining:

“Eye has not seen and ear has not heard, nor have there been conceived in the heart of man the things that God has prepared for those who love him.”- 1 Corinthians 2:9

So do not fear what you are being told to fear. (Isaiah 8:12) Take reasonable precautions and rely on God for strength.

Further reading:

Why does God Allow Suffering?

What the Bible Says about Anxiety

What is the “Sign of the Last Days,” or “End Times”?

 

(1) Central effects of stress hormones in health and disease: Understanding the protective and damaging effects of stress and stress mediators  , European Journal of Pharmacology, volume 583, issues 2-3, 7 April 2008, pages 174-185.

On Sharing

giving hand

Fear is such a terrible disease.  It used to keep me from sharing what I had with others for fear of having my gifts rejected.  I now understand that whatever gifts we have should be thrown out into the ether, no thought as to what we might receive in return.  It’s true, there’s a lot of pain out there.  Some people are like tornadoes that will suck up our offerings and spit them out all twisted and deformed by their own fear and suffering.  Love them anyway.  It is the tornado-like souls who need love most.  But sometimes what we throw out there will boomerang back to us in the form of love.  It’s our own love amplified by the beauty in the heart of another.

Photo by Jenny Kaczorowski