Covid-19, Illness, Anxiety & the Bible
With this corona virus pandemic going on at the moment there is a lot of panic and anxiety about. Panic buying, closures and advice to avoid of public places, encouragement to self- isolate, warning to the vulnerable; over 70’s and those with other conditions, esp lung conditions like COPD, asthma etc, it’s no doubt the anxiety of individuals around the globe has increased! In addition to this, there are, in fact, links between physical health problems, including disabling conditions, and the experience of mental health problems (Naylor et Al, 2012) This is because, Illness, or disability can be seen as a loss, a loss in the terms of independence, mobility and freedom. Especially when social isolation is happening, as it prevents our usual access to everyday life and can even lead to loneliness, especially in those already living alone.
I’m definitely not going to say to carry on as though nothings happening and not take the advice from the government, because that would be stupid! We can’t deny the facts and statistics and ignore whats happening around us, as that could end badly. What i will try and do though is to help those who are suffering with the anxiety of it all. This is through personal experience too, as my 11 year old is asthmatic and I’ve been worrying today too, hence the drive to write a blog specific to this. But these pointers are to help anyone suffering with any illnesses or anxiety and worry…hopefully!
First things first, as always in my rule book; prayer and meditation. Offer to God ALL your concerns whether you feel they are minute, or too large to be dealt with, or if you think that your particular concern isn’t as bad as those of others. Because, you know what, each concern and need of EVERY individual, are all important to God, and He DOES want to hear them and you to speak to Him.
Find scriptures, suited to you at this time, ask God to guide you to them, or check out scriptures on anxiety, then meditate on these. Find a quiet space and repeat His words, scriptures, over and over, trying not to let anything else distract you from focusing on His word and truth. Meditation is great for drawing you close to Him and rekindling the Holy Spirit and His peace and Joy, to absolutely anyone who asks for it, amidst ANY situation.
But, as we go about our daily lives, with children, jobs (whether working from home or not, at this time) housework, etc etc., how do we deal with fear and anxiety, especially if we believe it’s inbuilt in our personalities, or the worry and panic that is put on us through the government and the media at this time, how do we deal with that? This fear and anxiety can be our default, but we can change our way of thinking, our mindset, into thinking a different way. But how do we do this?
This fear can prevent us from living the fullness of life that God had intended for us. But we don’t have to stay in that fear; it can be overcome, with the help of our God.
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self- discipline” 2 Timothy 1.7
So, when fear takes over, our perspectives are distorted and God isn’t first in our minds. The fear and anxiety can settle in and our minds can play havoc and escalate and we might start believing that the worst will happen. Especially, at the moment. But it’s in these times we need to remind ourselves that God can help you, strengthen you and sustain you. We’ve also got to remember that, even when, ourselves or loved ones are sick, lonely, anxious and fearful and it feels like we’re going through dark times, He WILL take care of you. But we’ve got to let Him.
“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken” Psalms 55.22
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for i am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41.10
So, in order to answer our earlier question…”How do we do this?” We need to keep Christ at our centre. When we are feeling fearful or anxious, turn our eyes to Him in praise and worship. You will find that fear and anxiety has no place when we do this. Remember the lyrics to that song?…”take the shackles of my feet so i can dance, i just want to praise you” God can remove these shackles, so we can praise Him. Its either fear or praise. We can’t do both at the same time.
I’m not saying there’s a cure for this anxiety, there isn’t really. But Jesus does know what it is you need at any specific time, whether your worried about illness, need that job, that bill needs paying or, well, all of the above! Offer these cares and worries to Him to take care of. Then, let’s try not to let them distract us from His love and His will for us. Keep our eyes fixed on Him.
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