Living through the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 has been an exasperating experience for all of us. We have seen a little of everything: the painful grief of those who have lost loved ones, the struggle of families to deal with the loss of a salary, the continually changing rules from government, but the worst of all is the eminent fear of death. For some, this fear has been overwhelming.
Every human has an innate fear of death because it is universal. The pandemic, especially with the constant media attention and the unwanted change it has brought to our daily lives, has increased the fear of death for most people; most surprising, however, that includes Christians.
This is the one distinctive that Christians should not lose even amid a world-wide pandemic because our life is in God’s hands. Solomon said that “no man knows when his hour will come” (Eccl 9:12). From the media barrage each day, we are led to believe that politicians and medical experts know, but words are often no more than the “shouts of a ruler of fools” (Eccl 9:17). We are told one thing and then another until we are fear-driven instead of Spirit-led.
The prophet Isaiah described the believer whose life is in God’s hands “The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever” (Isa 32:17). This fruit of peace is rarely seen in 2020. It is a peace that comes from knowing your life is in God’s hands—not the politicians’ and not even the scientists’. This believer has a quiet confidence in God that inspires those around him.
When Jacob’s time to pull up his tent and move to Egypt came, he was fearful. Jacob was reluctant to leave the promised land and anxious about entering Egypt. On the journey, God assured Jacob that He would be with him, so he did not have to be afraid. God also told him not to be worried about dying. Of course, death would come as it does for everyone, but his son Joseph would be there with him when it happened, and he would close his eyes. (Gen 46:3-4).
Jacob had long battled with a fear of death, but he learned he did not have to be afraid of dying. Joseph would be at his side for his peaceful home-going. God gently comforted Jacob and helped him not to fear death. We are bombarded by the fear of death every day, but God does not want us to give in to panic or fear death because our life is in his hands. When it is our time, we can face it unafraid and look forward to spending eternity with Jesus and seeing our loved ones who have preceded us in death. We are people of hope and not hopelessness! I pray that hope will characterize the way we live our daily lives! The next time you feel fearful, say to yourself, “My life is in God’s hands!”