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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Why Ebola Should Not Freak Out Christians

Yesterday, I spent a lot of my time fearfully reading articles about how Ebola is super disgusting, deadly, and spreading.  I was unable to focus and give all of my attention to the things in life that really matter (family, friends, that entire life's purpose thing where I'm supposed to be all about glorifying God), and instead, I let my eyes slip off of Jesus, and onto Ebola.

Today God reassured me through several people that it is my job to ABIDE in Him, and it is Not my job to be afraid.  My husband read this article from Wisdom Hunters aloud to me this morning.  I've been doing the Naptime Diaries Abide Journal with a Ladies small group at my church, and this really reminded me that I am not abiding in Christ when I am living in fear.  I went to Community Bible Study and our lovely speaker shared the message from Mark 6.  She pointed out how Jesus needed rest and prayer, and how if He needed rest and prayer, even more so do we!  She said many other inspiring things, but I was unable to take notes because I was nursing my bottle-refusing baby on the back row.   This chapter in Mark covers Jesus feeding the five thousand, walking on water, and healing the sick! She finished her whole message by even commenting on Ebola, and how we should not be afraid of things like this, because we serve a God who is so much bigger!  Talk about a reality check for me.

I can be a pretty bad germophobe.  I was really worried about Whooping Cough last year, when I had a baby in the middle of January, and I literally stayed home for about a month straight and only let people who had their TDaP vaccine hold her.  Then we came to this little town and had to let a bunch of strangers hold her because we were interviewing for a position in a church, and how can you say no to nice church people who are considering hiring your husband?

Ebola is so much scarier.  It's not just my baby I fear for, but my son, my husband, my parents, my friends, and me! 

Guess what, though?  

My fear of Ebola does not glorify God.
My fear of Ebola does not save any lives. 
My fear of Ebola does not calm any hearts. 
My fear of Ebola does not remedy any situation.
My fear of Ebola only serves to separate me from the peace I should be able to claim through my relationship to Jesus Christ.  

The Bible speaks many times about fear. Almost every single time, it is God telling us NOT to fear. Here's a few of my favorite examples:  

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Although Mark 6 does not talk about Peter's experience at walking on water, Matthew 14:22-23 does.  I have heard it preached so many times that Peter was only able to walk on the water as long as he kept his eyes fixed on Jesus.  When he looked down at the water, the circumstances he was in, he immediately began to sink.  

There will always be something new to fear.  I don't usually struggle with fear, but I hate the thought of losing people I love to a painful death with lots of blood.  Today, I had to come to grips with this:

People lose their children all the time.  
October is for remembering so many things - Breast Cancer, SIDS, Pregnancy and Infant Loss, Down Syndrome, and Spina Bifida, and a slew of others.  
People lose people they love all. the. time.  
People have to serve loved ones experiencing illness and disability all. the. time. 
I could lose people I love at any second, from any number of accident types or cancers undiscovered, or heart disease, or car wrecks.  
Why should I chose to fear Ebola more than any of these other things?  
I shouldn't!  
I shouldn't fear any of them.  I serve a God who is Good no matter what.  He tells me not to be afraid.  Even if my kids or my husband or I contract Ebola, God can use it to bring Him glory - whether we live or die.  *Please understand that I do not mean in any way to trivialize people who have lost children or family members or are currently fighting cancer or living with one of the above mentioned disabilities.  I am just recognizing that it is futile for me to live in fear of Ebola, because so many other things are happening and could be happening to us as well.

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God does not call us to live in fear.  

Now, I will still wash hands religiously, and carry hand sanitizer, and stay indoors with my kids if it gets bad.  I will NOT go around with a heavy weight of anxiety on my mind, allowing it to distract me from my life, and to worry about it constantly.  I will wash my hands, bathe my children in lysol (just kidding, kind of), pray for protection, pray for God's will, and carry on trusting.  

I will trust that the God who hung the moon and created the sun and the universe, knows how to direct my life to glorify Him in the best way possible.  If that means I contract Ebola and die, then so be it.  I will die singing "It is Well With My Soul," because Ebola will not steal my joy.  

(This is one in a serious of posts where I am attempting to wake up earlier for 31 days straight- so it should be noted that today, when God really spoke to me about not being afraid, I did not wake up on time.  My phone died overnight and so my alarm did not go off.  I had a rushed morning as I cut up fruit for my class at CBS and John had to help get the kids ready, and I was still 15 minutes late.  Check out the link below for more on this topic.)  

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks Kelly for sharing this post. (I'm a 31 dayer as well which is how I found it). I've been struggling with fear, but also anger about how the virus is being handled. I have no idea where this is all going to go, but I do see this as an opportunity for Christians to share the plan of salvation with others. It could only be a small window of time to share this or it could turn into a world wide epidemic with longer opportunities to share. As someone who struggles with fear, I'm praying for the grace to face whatever God calls us to go through.

    Thanks for your transparency.