Strength to Overcome Fear: Sunday Devotion #21

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

I love November! It is my birth month, and I look forward to it arriving with bated breath. Normally. I start to get ready for two celebrations with all my children’s families: Thanksgiving and my birthday, which occur together about every six years, thanks to leap years.

Yet, this year, the celebrations will need to be virtual, as has been so much of our lives since the coronavirus entered the world. Many people fear contracting the deadly illness, especially people like me with existing conditions that make me vulnerable to severe illness, so I keep my distance from others.

But, we need the presence of others to feel truly human, so I had to find a way to overcome fear and get out outdoors to walk and hear birdsong and see trees, my favorite creation. For me, I remembered that I am not alone, and that no matter what comes, God will strengthen me and help me.

So, yesterday, Douglas and I walked on a segment of the Silver Comet Trail that we had never trod on, masked, of course, and keeping our distance. For us, lacking fear and believing in God’s presence don’t mean we lack common sense, so we will not stop following guidelines set by experts on infectious diseases. Indeed, I see the information as proof of the presence of God.

So, even though Thanksgiving and my birthday will look different, particularly if the surge in COVID-19 continues, we can still connect with others in safe ways. I choose to let go of my fears for not just the virus but for the future of our country being determined in my beloved November. I find peace when I remember that God is in control!

God has us all in His hands, so He commands us to not fear or be dismayed (distressed), for, as Nehemiah so eloquently said to the Isrealites who returned to Jerusalem after the exile in Babylon, “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). Stay safe and be well, my Brothers and Sisters.

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