The outbreak of the coronavirus COVID-19 across the U.S. is reordering the daily life of thousands of educators. In a recent poll, 56% of the people surveyed see COVID-19 as a real threat and 38% feel that it is blown out of proportion NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.
Governors in many states are closing all public establishments where large groups of people are gathered – restaurants, public buildings, bars (not a bad action), food courts, sporting events, festivals, parades, concerts, and cultural events. All major cruise lines have suspended operations. Nearly half of the schools in the nation are closed beyond the spring break; maybe you are an educator in one of these schools. Also, colleges have shut down on-campus classes. Borders are being closed and churches are sending their staff home and holding services online. My granddaughter has even postponed her wedding from May to August.
These conditions combined with the stock market’s plunge in the last three weeks and the closing of shopping centers and businesses are leading many to be stressed out about finances and worried about the future. Look at any newspaper, magazine, or listen to any news broadcast and you will find stress-causers all fueled by worry.
Worry is a universal response to the pressure of circumstances and an uncertain future. Worry always questions, "What if?" It has been said the "worry burns up energy, stretches emotions, disturbs peace and robs a person of contentment."
Worry is defined as fretting, anxiety, care, or excessive concern. It expects the worst and awaits catastrophes. Worry sees obstacles in every opportunity; problems in every possibility; risks in every reach; chance in every challenge; danger in every dare and peril in every potential. ”The progression of worry is fear. When unchecked, it may have a very detrimental effect on the physical body as well. Worry and fear are two of the enemy’s most popular weapons that he uses against Christian educators. He uses it to cause a “thick shadow of darkness, controlling our every move and decision.”
Jesus addressed the issue of worry. In Matthew 6:25-34 Jesus attaches worry to man’s desire for security outside of a dependence on God. He concludes:
“So don’t worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and these things will be given to you, as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matt. 6:31-34, NIV)
As you follow the recommendations for protecting yourself from COVID-19, consider a remedy for all worry and fear? Take a daily dose of Psalm 91 (AMP) by making it your daily declaration of faith.
1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand].
2 I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust!
3 For [then] He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.
4 [Then] He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings shall you trust and find refuge; His truth and His faithfulness are a shield and a buckler.
5 You shall not be afraid of the terror of the night, nor of the arrow (the evil plots and slanders of the wicked) that flies by day,
6 Nor of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor of the destruction and sudden death that surprise and lay waste at noonday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not come near you.
8 Only a spectator shall you be [yourself inaccessible in the secret place of the Most High] as you witness the reward of the wicked.
9 Because you have made the Lord your refuge, and the Most High your dwelling place,
10 There shall no evil befall you, nor any plague or calamity come near your tent.
11 For He will give His angels [especial] charge over you to accompany and defend and preserve you in all your ways [of obedience and service].
12 They shall bear you up on their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13 You shall tread upon the lion and adder; the young lion and the serpent shall you trample underfoot.
14 Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him; I will set him on high, because he knows and understands My name [has personal knowledge of My mercy, love, and kindness—trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never forsake him, no, never].
15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation.