As we enter into 2022, there appears to be an increasing level of concern associated with variants of COVID. Usually, worry begins with a question, “Am I going to catch a variant of COVID-19, the Delta, or Omicron?” The question fosters an uncertainty of what is ahead. For some, a simple question may become a worry.
The concern may not be health-related; it may be as simple as “where am I going to get gas money?” “What will happen to my employment if I go forward with a divorce?” For young people, it might be a question regarding, “What is Johnny thinking about me?” “What will happen to me if my parents get a divorce?” “How come I can’t seem to fit in?” “How can I ever learn this math?” “Am I going to be able to attend college?” Look at any newspaper, magazine, or listen to any news broadcast, and you will find all kinds of questions that become stress-causers, all fueled by worry.
Worry is a universal response to the pressure of circumstances of an uncertain future. Worry always questions, “What if?” It has been said that “worry burns up energy, stretches emotions, disturbs the peace and robs a person of contentment. If unchecked, worry may have a detrimental effect on the physical body. Worry is defined as fretting, anxiety, care, or excessive concern. It expects the worst and awaits catastrophes. Worry sees obstacles in every opportunity. It sees problems in every possibility, risks in every reach, and changes in every challenge. It sees danger in every dare and peril in every potential.” The progression of worry is fear. All of these are “designed by Satan to produce stress, strain, and death.” (Kenneth Copeland)
Jesus Discusses the Issue of Worry
In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus attaches worry to man’s desire for security outside of dependence on God. He concludes:
"So do not 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 all 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)
Dealing with Worry
What are you supposed to do with all the concerns you have about your problems? In 1 Peter 5:7, God says you should “cast them all upon Him.” All—Not 75 percent of them. Rather than being preoccupied with material things, we need to base our actions on verse 33 of Matthew 6, which tells us to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
We know that as we follow this command, God has pledged himself with a covenant of faithfulness to respond - “all these things shall be added to you.” What must we do as Christian educators? Consider these two actions:
1. We must not allow material goods to set our emotional and spiritual tone. We need to keep our eyes on God as our provider rather than the abundance of wealth and ability; and set our heart on eternal promises, which help allow the invisible force of our faith to be released for provision.
2. It is the release of faith in God’s Word and His provision (rather than worry) and our trust in His care for each of us that brings us through present worrisome situations. These actions allow us to face our problem or financial situation squarely and not worry – even when we see no immediate change.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose “. . . Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” (Romans 8:28,37, KJV)
Response to COVID
Our response to the COVID Variants should be to follow the directives of our public health officials and those of our school. Each of us needs to take responsibility for ourselves and those we live with to avoid inadvertently spreading the virus. At the same time, we need to be sensitive to our recreated spirit as the Holy Spirit tells us what to do, places to avoid, and precautions to take. One of the jobs of the Holy Spirit is to teach us all things and bring to our remembrance all He says to us (John 14:26, ESV). Obedience to the prompting of the Holy Spirit will allow us to avoid a lot of disease and sickness present in the world. Furthermore, we have God’s assurance – “The Lord will keep you from all harm- he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. (Psalm 121:7-8, NIV).