5 Signs Your Fear of Ebola Has Gone Too Far
The recent cases of Ebola in the United States have sent the nation into a frenzy of fear. People are being gripped by the fear that this deadly virus in now on our soil, and the media seems to be striving to bring its viewers further into horrifying darkness.
Before you get defensive, let me tell you, I’m with you. I have spent too much time worrying about this virus. As a mother who almost lost her 3 month old baby to a deadly, contagious virus, fear of illness strikes a nerve in me, and that is why I am writing this. I myself have spent too many sleepless nights worrying about it, only to come to the realization that my fear has once again gone too far.
Yes, Ebola is scary. And yes, we should be concerned for those who are suffering and at risk of catching it. But where’s the line between genuine concern and useless worry?
Here are 5 signs that indicate your fear has gone too far:
- Your fear has clouded your vision of God’s character.
Fear has a way of preventing us from seeing God as He truly is. We focus on the scary obstacles before us and forget that God’s matchless and unchanging character is fit to overcome any obstacle. If you are in need of a fresh glimpse of who God is, here are just a few attributes that will fuel your faith enough to lay down your fear.
- God is love, and everything He does and is flows out of His unfailing, everlasting love. See Romans 5:8
- God is a good planner with good plans for His people, plans that cannot be thwarted. See Jeremiah 29:11
- God is El Shaddai, the All Sufficient One. He is sufficient in every trial and every need. See 2 Corinthians 12:9
- God is Immanuel, God with us, a very present help in time of need. See Psalm 46:1
- God is Jehovah Rapha, the Lord Who Heals. Jesus was seen in the gospels healing many, and He is still in the healing business today. See Malachi 4:2
- God is your protector who watches over you, and commands His angels concerning you. See Psalm 91
- You have traded the joys of today for fear of tomorrow.
When we get tangled up in our fears and what ifs that may or may not happen tomorrow, we miss out on the joy and blessings of today. Furthermore, we miss out on God’s will for us for today. You see, God’s will is not for us to spend our days fretting about tomorrow. Jesus said it Himself. God’s will for us is to seek His kingdom daily, in every situation.
Fact is, tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us. Living in the present will allow us to experience the blessings of today, and when tomorrow comes, if it does, God will give us what we need when we need it.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
- You’ve lost sight of His faithfulness.
We have a choice here. We can choose to focus our attention on the scary crisis that is gripping the nation, pondering how to prevent it and self protect, or we can focus our attention on God’s faithfulness and how He has come through for us in the past. I love how Lysa Terkeurst says it, “We have to trace His hand of faithfulness.”
As a mother who has learned the hard way, let me tell you it is impossible to do enough to protect ourselves. It is in the hands of a faithful God. And He. Is. Faithful. If you are having a hard time finding an act of faithfulness to trace in your own life, all you have to do is open the Bible. It’s filled with story after story of His faithfulness.
Hey, I’m even willing to let you borrow one of my stories just to keep your mind focused on what God can do. I have been on the other side of the glass in an isolated ICU room where I watched my baby near death due to an infectious disease, but today I am tracing God’s hand of faithfulness and remembering four words that I heard out of the mouth of a PICU doctor, “This is a miracle.” He is a faithful God of miracles, always has been and always will be. Keep your eyes on that!
- Your hope is mostly in what man can do.
Are your hopes set on what CDC is doing to prevent the spread of the illness, on hospital preparedness or your own ability to protect yourself and your family? While all of these are very important, they are not the most important. We should take practical steps to keep ourselves safe, but our hope ultimately has to be in God. All other hope is in vain.
“A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love.”
- Your hope has wilted, or worse, died.
If you are feeling a sense of doom or hopelessness, that is a sure sign that your fear has gone too far. Dear friend, we were not made to live in fear or hopelessness. Here is a last piece of wisdom from the book of Romans that tells us how we ought to live during this unsettling time.
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
Keep your eyes on the Lord, who He is and what He is capable of. Trust God, taking it one day at a time. Remember his faithfulness with your hopes set on Him. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, and pray your heart out.
Pray for protection for yourself, your family, those working in treatment centers, and those who have been in contact with patients. Pray for those infected, not just here in the U.S. but in other countries as well. Pray for it to stop spreading, and pray for a cure.
But most of all, do not let fear get the best of you!