“Quick, everybody put on your masks.” The photographer came into the classroom to take a yearbook picture. The children rushed to snap their masks into place for fear of having a picture taken without their face coverings. “My mother will kill me if she sees me without a mask.”
“So will mine.”
The children had not been wearing masks in the classroom area for six months, but pick up a phone to take and picture and “Wait, we have to put on our masks! Mom will kill me.”
Do the children fear Covid-19?
Not one bit. The children know better. They laugh and grab and touch, with no compunction. And not one has been ill from anything in over six months. They have no fear of the virus. They do fear those who fear the virus. Mom scrubs every door handle a dozen times a day. No one enters the house except for immediate family, and then only reluctantly. Mom fears death.
The children fear the fears of Moms.
We live in a community of people who fear the fear of others.
Mr. Perez had both his Covid vaccines and is still double-masking and staying in the house, away from his family, isolated from life.
Does Mr. Perez fear Covid-19?
Not one bit. He wants to play cards with his buddies and dance with his ‘girlfriend’. He fears the fear of his daughter who insists that Dad stay locked away, presumably, to protect Dad from other people, including all family members. His daughter fears death.
He fears her fear.
“Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.” (1 Pe 3:14)
You and I have been freed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ from fearing what they fear. His perfect love casts out the fear of what they fear. (1 Jn 4:18)
The word phobeo or fear in Greek means ‘to put to flight by terrifying’.
There is no way to water-down the word fear in the Bible. It means what it says.
The question is, what do we do with the fear? Do we fly to Him or away from Him when confronted with fear?
What I learned from my class of children:
- I must not fear the fear of others. Others fear death and hell. Others fear condemnation.
“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Mt 10:28)
“There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)
- I must fear the Lord. The Living God is fearsome. The Bible describes a host of brothers and sister who saw a tiny hint of God’s Glory and absolutely fell apart. But, they flew to Him, not away from Him. They did not rush off a cliff or hide in a cave. They tasted the beginning of wisdom.
“Show proper respect to everyone: love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the King.” 1 Pe 2:17
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Proverb 8:10)
- I must fly to Him. Not away. No matter how I feel.
“He is my refuge, and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.” Ps 91:2
No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand
Till He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.
(In Christ Alone by Keith Getty)