DAY 16: Friday 2 April FEAR
Good morning all… first try clicking the picture below
Are you experiencing what is being called ‘pandemic virus anxiety’? The pandemic is causing shortages, thousands are without work, stock markets have plummeted. Fear is gripping our world and many people are being completely ruled by fear, moment by moment, day after day. We can become panicked, trapped in a dark maze of feeling pursued by unseen enemies.
What Do Fear and Anxiety Do to the Body?
Fear has a very strong effect on your mind and body. Fear can create strong signals of response when we’re in emergencies—for instance, if we are caught in a fire or are being attacked. Situations like watching the news, taking exams, public speaking, a new job, can put your body in fight or flight mode.
When you feel frightened or seriously anxious, your mind and body react quickly and intensely. Your breathing & heart rate increase; your muscles feel weak, your stomach churns, you feel hopeless and helpless. These things occur because your body physically senses fear and prepares for emergency. So your blood flows to the muscles, increases blood sugar, and gives you the mental ability to focus on the thing that your body perceives as a threat.
Fear can catapult you into chronic fight or flight mode. Living in fear wreaks havoc on the body. Fear creates stress releasing free radicals in the body. Living in fear creates oxidative stress which then leads to chronic inflammation and ultimately a compromised immune system. Fear is worse for our health compared to being a couch potato or even smoking.
So how do we conquer the fear that is wreaking havoc in our body?
By fully trusting in God. He is sovereign. He knows the end and he has written everyday of your life in his book. We put our fear in him—not the world. To be in fear of God is to be in immense awe of who he is. Before sending out his disciples to minister to those who would persecute them, Jesus Christ said, “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” (Matthew 10:28).
Fear of anything other than God is forbidden by him. God knows what fear will do to your heart, soul, and mind and he does not want you to go through those trials.
We need to realise what we can and can’t control and focus on what is in our control and hand over what we can’t control to God.
Fear is worrying about what is beyond our control – Faith is handing over what is beyond our control to the One who is in control.
If you want to be reminded of what Jesus says about worry and fear - read Matthew 6:25-34
Our thanks to our good friend Fiona Maggs for the following picture -
Psalm 34:4 - I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.
2 Timothy 1:7 - For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Anne Roberts has sent the following update -
Natalie phoned us yesterday evening, she is back at work today. It was so good to hear her voice. She says that as far as busy shifts go, it's probably not much worse because they can only do one job at a time anyway. They do have personal protective equipment which they are using. I was relieved to hear that they are erring on the side of caution if they're not sure what they are going to and wear the full gear. She did not go into much detail about some of the jobs she has attended but I heard enough to realise that some of it has been a bit grim.
I did a shift at John Taylor Hospice yesterday. We have a lady who is suspected coronavirus. All the registered nurses have 3 to 5 patients allocated to each and to be honest, I was hoping that I might not get her. Well I did! Then something lovely happened.
I was in her room giving her medication and noticed a Bible and a Joni Earickson-Tada book on her table. It is frowned upon to discuss faith/religion with patients, but it didn't take long to realise that we are both Christians, so I was hardly forcing my opinions on her. I offered to pray with her and she was so pleased. I don't know where the words came from (well, I do really), I prayed for her family who are not allowed to visit and that while she is isolated and alone in her room that she will know that she is not alone, that she will know the presence of God all around her. Then she prayed which almost made me cry.
She said that of all the nurses on the shift she thanked God for sending "this young lady" (there wasn't much of me visible with a mask and everything else!) to care for her.
· Ciaran’s dad is still not understanding the need to ‘stay home and self-isolate’. This is causing considerable stress for both Ciaran and his mom. Please pray for this situation.
· Linda Lord says the Lodge Ladies Group were given a hamper of chocolates intended for their Easter raffle, but this will now be donated to Good Hope
· Isn’t the current spirit of appreciation being demonstrated across the country so refreshingly different from how things had been for so long?
To end this email about FEAR, let’s sing Stuart Townend’s song based on Psalm 23
And though I walk the darkest path I will not fear the evil one,
For You are with me and Your rod and staff are the comfort I need to know.
And I will trust in You alone…
Enjoy a fearless day
Wesley & Karen