God's Answer to H1N1: Fear not!

Our church was packed Sunday morning. Communion Sundays aren't typically that well-attended, for a variety of reasons, but today the sanctuary overflowed. I sat there during the Prelude, mentally listing the possible reasons people would gather en masse the Sunday after several area schools have been closed and students encouraged not to congregate due to a few confirmed cases of Swine Flu. Then it hit me – it's because of the virus scare! Where do people turn when they're anxious? They turn to God, and to His representatives here on earth, His church.

It is so easy to get swept up in the panic that surrounds us. We live in a world full of fearful things. War. Terrorists. Unemployment. The threat of financial ruin. Changes in our society. And yes, the H1N1 Flu virus. Yet the Bible urges time and again to, “Fear not!” Our Father is the Creator of the universe, and He loves us. As children of the King, we have a secret weapon against anything that threatens our peace and wellbeing: the love of the One who has promised never to leave us, never to forsake us.

The living Word of God tells us exactly what to do in times like these, when the circumstances around us are so frightening: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

As Christians we represent Jesus, who calmed storms with a word. Shouldn’t people be able to see Him in us? As my pastor said in his sermon, “Christians are called to be non-anxious in anxious times. We’re called to be peaceful in the midst of panic.”

How can we do that, when the situation around us is so frightening? We pray. We trust God to be faithful to His Word. We fix our eyes on Jesus. Then, when the world looks at us, they’ll see His peace reflected in our lives.