Padre’s Corner: How to battle the fear

St. Brendan’s Chapel at Stadacona.
Photo: CFB Halifax

How to battle the fear                                                                                  

By Padre Capt Albert Lee,

I never thought that in my lifetime I would experience a pandemic that has so gripped our attention and has impacted us so greatly. I am trying hard to understand the rapidly changing news as I am sure you are and at times it can feel overwhelming. We are wrestling deeply with our own thoughts fears and worries in the midst of this global crisis.

A story is told: Death was walking toward a city one morning and a man asked: “What are you going to do?” “I’m going to take 100 people,” Death replied. “That’s horrible,” the man said. “That’s the way it is,” Death said. “That’s what I do.”

The man hurried to warn everyone he could about Death’s plan. As evening fell he met Death again. “You told me you were going to take 100 people,” the man said. “Why did a 1000 die?!” “I kept my word,” Death responded. “I only took 100 people. Worry and fear took the others.” Stress, worry and anxiety can be a more powerful pandemic and kill even more people than a virus gone viral!

An anxious heart weighs a man down.  Proverbs 12:25.

It is natural for us to feel afraid. I find one of the best ways to combat fear and uncertainty is to spend time in God’s Word.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. “ Joshua 1:9.

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled neither let them be afraid. “ John 14:27.

“So do not fear for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10.

“And free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” Hebrews 2:15.

God wants to cast out our fears with his perfect love (1 John 4:18). And as we surrender our fears to Him, He replaces them with His comfort and peace – a peace that comes from trusting Him. Don’t be afraid – we will all get through this!

I have read some true stories and have experienced true kindness from/towards neighbours, friends and family. How wonderful we can all be to one another! Kindness and time will overcome this pandemic!

In this moment I would encourage you to reach out to someone you know who is alone and scared with a word of comfort and a prayer. Maybe take time each day to check in with friends, family members, neighbours or co-workers so they’re not left spiritually and emotionally lonely at a time of quarantine and isolation.                         

This is an ideal time to deepen our relationships with others and an opportunity to find new ways of interacting with one another to strengthen and encourage each other. Also it’s an ideal time to reconnect as a family-and choose joy in the midst of uncertain circumstances.

May the peace of God that passes all understanding guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. May His peace be the sentinel over your hearts that keeps you from worry and fear and the sentinel over your minds that keeps you from doubt and brings self-resilience. For we have the spiritual confidence from Jesus Christ risen from death to life to lead us safely through a pandemic plague in the world.