I know, these are scary times…
With each new case of Ebola reported in the news, panic becomes more imminent. People are frightened. And these days, the virus is hitting close to home… As of tonight, one person is in isolation at Boston hospital with Ebola-like symptoms, while five passengers were removed from a plane at Logan Airport due to flu-like symptoms as well. Boston is not all that far from where I live… from where my family works.
And, yes, it’s scary.
The world we live in is scary, and Ebola alone isn’t to blame. When I was a little girl, I’d watch the evening news with my Pepere almost every Thursday night, and the worst things reported were mischievous teenagers toilet-papering church grounds or politicians who didn’t keep their word. These days, kids don’t watch the evening news… and to be honest, most days, neither do I. It’s too depressing and overwhelming. There’s sickness, and financial insecurities, and hatred that can’t be rationalized.
It makes a person wonder what happened and how much worse can it possibly get.
To be honest, when Nate and I first started to talk about starting a family, we almost decided not to. We wondered how fair it was to bring a child into this world. And with the scary reports of Ebola and terrorist strikes hitting the news, I found myself falling back into that same pattern of thinking. Is it fair to bring an innocent baby into such chaos?
And I came to the conclusion, that the answer is ‘yes’.
I remember how terrified I was as a college student in Florida after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Whenever I’d open my Times magazine, there would be an article on surviving an anthrax attack. There were pictures on how to best barricade your house and how to stockpile food and water. The navy base near the college campus became a hub of activity. And many college students left for home… or the military.
It seemed like the end… but it wasn’t. People came together. Churches filled back up. Flags flew proud, and Americans rekindled their sense of patriotism. Within time, the fear subsided; but it took a lot of prayer, a lot of faith, and a whole lot of really good people.
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.” Psalm 91:1-3
Can you imagine how much worse this world would be without good people? Without people who risk and sacrifice their own lives for the well-being of others? Without people who give to those in need and who -daily – ‘fight’ evil by bending to their knee and asking God for protection, provision, and peace?
I honestly don’t want to imagine it… Because despite how much bad we hear about on a daily basis, there is so much more good. We just don’t hear about the good as often; because panic, fear, and devastation sells. And granted, we need to be made aware of evil in this world, so that we’re prepared to help fight it. But sometimes, it’s nice to be reminded that there’s a whole lot of happiness too.
My pastor’s wife once taught a Bible study during which she encouraged the moms and mom-to-be’s by telling us that our children (and future children) are like arrows that we shoot into the world. It is our responsibility to raise our sons and daughters to be the difference that we want to see and that we know is desperately needed. And while we try to be the difference and the positive change today, our children are the change for the future.
Because there is always love. There is always beauty. And even amidst the fear that sometimes seems to prevail during this day and age, there is always hope.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” -British politician Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
Now I prefer to see the glass half-full, and I truly believe that we’ll be okay. Where my trust in government and hard-working health-care workers ends, my faith in God more than makes up the difference. And since that faith is unshaken no matter the outcome of any epidemic or financial crisis, I can face today with confidence and the realization that I am being held in very loving, capable hands. I face both life and death with Him on my side, so – when I focus on my Creator instead of the problem – there is absolutely nothing to fear.
It will be okay. It is okay.
It’s when we give into the fear that we’ve already let evil win.
And I don’t know about you, but I’d rather just live it today… and every day. 🙂 I’d rather spend my time making a positive difference and focusing on the good around me. Life is beautiful, and it’s meant to be lived victoriously.
And I plan to raise my baby boy with that same hope!!
It doesn’t mean that the problems go away… But when I focus on God instead of those scary problems, I find myself on solid ground. And I am much better equipped to live a joyful life that can be a much-needed beacon of light in a world that so often seems to be going dark.