Review hand-washing procedure- Check.
Disinfect every surface- Check.
Limit contact with others- Check.
Disable fear with a powerful antidote. Um, Check...
Stockpile a reserve of peace and joy. Well..
We are all making preparations for the onslaught of Coronavirus. But even if we managed to find everything on our list, would we really be prepared for a pandemic if we lack peace in our hearts or hope for the future? Have we prepared our hearts?
As Christians, of course, we're praying...at least we plan to, when we get home from Costco. And we know, "God is good all the time...."
But let's be honest. Our faith in our loving, all-powerful, all-knowing God can be shaken when we find ourselves socially isolated, dreading the day when an invisible, insidious enemy will ambush us and cast a wild and dark terror on us, our loved ones, our friends, our work, our future. Suddenly, our comfortable illusions of control and predictability dissolve. Our anxious, unbelieving hearts race with dread. What can anyone do?
Here is one thing we can do: memorize scripture. His Word is a supernatural path to God's truth, love, and power. It is the final, permanent antidote to fear. His word turns every earthly terror into an opportunity to renounce our own strength- to admit our need, cling to Him, repent and refresh our souls with the unbreakable salvation that He has prepared for us from the foundation of the world.
It is the living Word of our loving, all-powerful, all-knowing heavenly Father. At times like this, we need reminders of His love like marrow in our bones. Rehearsing His Word, hiding it deep in our inmost parts, feeds our soul, renews our minds, and strengthen our hearts. It reveals His perfect love, and perfect love casts out fear.
God richly blesses our meditations on his scripture- and memorizing is a time-honored way of deep and faithful meditation. His word is a guide (Psalm 119:105), protection against foolishness (2 Timothy 2:23-26), a source of freedom (Psalm 119:45) and hope (Psalm 119:59-52). It is nourishment for the soul (Matthew 4:4), a deterrent to sin (Psalm 119:11), and a defense against the forces of evil (Ephesians 6:10-18).
Has your church canceled services? Memorize scriptures together as a body of believers. Make it a corporate act of worship. Bless one another with encouragement and practice.
Have extra time you have at home with your children? Memorize scripture together. Your kids may do this with lightning speed compared to you. But let them see you struggle because God's word is worth the struggle.
Want to change the conversation with friends and neighbors? Tell them about your scripture memory project and invite them to join you. Or share the most comforting Word you have heard recently from God, along with the testimony of how God is blessing and encouraging you.
Get a partner, a family, a congregation-Check.
Chose a passage from God's word- Check.
Start memorizing- Check.
Fight fear- Check.
Perpetuate hope- Check.