Reflection: 2020 was a challenging year for us all. The fear of contracting Covid overwhelmed our lives creating a general feeling of anxiety for most of us. I found myself looking to history for reassurance that challenges have been defeated before and would be again. My look into the past included not just remembering past “fear producing” events, but insights about how these events impacted me as a child and hold potential to impact me today.
My walk down memory lane reminded me of some “fear highlights” experienced during my formative years. There were bomb drills in school where we hunched down under our desks. Nightly news reported combat in Viet Nam with caskets lined up on airport runways. Race riots with shooting in the streets and on college campuses. Leaders killed; Kennedy and Martin Luther King shot. It felt like the world was a very dangerous place, much like we are feeling now.
As with many children I started to show signs of the stress of handling all the bad things that made life feel out of control. I was afraid of the dark, my stomach was constantly upset, anxiety had set in. My Mother worked to exorcise my fears, but they were too big for her alone. She turned to God and began to really teach me about his love and protection. Most importantly she taught me about the big picture of God’s plan for his Kingdom. Remembering that ultimately, he is in control, he walks through hard, fearful times with us and that in the end the hurt of this world will be defeated. This is the only way to find peace amid the chaos of humanity. “Even when you see these [bad] things happening, know that the Kingdom of God is near.”
God uses many methods to comfort and remind us that he is always nearby. The star of Bethlehem, sent on the night of Jesus birth, is one way he reminds us of his divine guidance and protection. His wondrous, nightly stars are every night a reminder of his presence with us now, through Christ, and his Kingdom plan for our future.
Prayer: Lord help us to look at the stars and each time we see them to remember that you are in control and “Thy Kingdom Come”. Give us the peace that exceeds all understanding in these times when fear enters our minds. Amen.