I had a nightmare last night.
Despite all our efforts, our family became infected and I knew what that meant for Campbell. I woke up sad and scared and filled with a deep sense of despair.
(Which means the dream was from the enemy or my own mind because the fruit of the Spirit always follows dreams from Him: love, peace, conviction when applicable, joy, submission, hope, trust, etc. Though I know it is possible we could become infected, and that Campbell may even die of this, it will not play out as it did in the nightmare. We will have pain, yes, but in the end we will have peace because the Lord has prepared us for whatever will happen. I know and believe that, friend, and He receives all the glory for that.)
A little groggy and reeling from the fear I was still battling, I rolled over and snatched up my phone, intending to check the verse of the day on my Bible App, but stopped, staring at the unlocked screen. My wallpaper is that picture above of the two of us. It was taken at this beautiful little restaurant we ate at with my sisters and their husbands and a few of my cousins last December. (We are blessed with a large, wonderful family.)
Instead of making me smile at the memory, as it always had before, it made me sad. Reminded me that we can’t go out like that again anytime soon.
And honestly, if the worst happens, may never do again.
Then I saw I’d received a text from a sweet friend whose husband also has cancer. It said, “How can I pray for you today?” (Isn’t she amazing? Please pray for wisdom for her and her family. I will keep her anonymous, but God knows her name even if you don’t. He’ll know who you are praying for.)
Besides making me tear up a little, a sentence came to me then and I know it was the Holy Spirit speaking to me.
I want to hide but not cower.
Rather than be filled with fear, I want to “hide in the cleft of the Rock.” (Exodus 33:22). I want to “take shelter beneath His wings.” (Psalm 36:7). I want to run to Him to “make Him my strong tower, my fortress.” (Psalm 61:3)
How do I do that?
By fearing the Lord more than I fear the virus.
Wait–didn’t I just say I didn’t want to be filled with fear? What I mean by that is this: in the same way I didn’t fear a bully at school because I knew my dad would take care of it, I don’t have to fear this virus because “my God is stronger and a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1). Rather than an earthly fear, it is a divine awe. When I recognize His vast, immeasurable power, (Ephesians 1:9) which fills me with awe and reverence, suddenly this virus, this pandemic, this sickness for which we have no cure, seems small in comparison because He is the cure (Jeremiah 17:14). Whether on this side or the other, whether we fall ill or even die of it, we will be healed in eternity.
I don’t normally write out the scripture I’m quoting in its entirety…but I needed to read it in the fullness of His Word today. Perhaps we all need a complete meal of food for our spirits of late, so may “the Bread of Life” (John 6:35 ESV) bless you this morning, friend, for “where else shall we go? Only Jesus has the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68 ESV)
“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Matthew 28-31 ESV)
“that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” (Ephesians 1:18b-23 ESV)
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:31; 34b-35; 37-39 ESV)