America’s Greatest Weapon Against Pandemic Fear
Americans are fighting a battle against more than one invisible enemy. We are combatting not merely the germs of the coronavirus pandemic, but also the fear and anxiety that accompany such a contagious illness. They have begun to seep into our national consciousness. You can see it in the relentless stream of negative news, read it on our friends’ social media posts, and even sense it on our desolate streets. Many of our fellow Americans are frightened for our future.
Yet even in the darkest of times, we can find courage when we look to the fortitude of our Founding Fathers – a strength that the Declaration of Independence describes as a “firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence.” Like our Founders, I too strengthen my own resolve by looking to our Creator. Three hundred and sixty-six times the Bible says, “Fear not” – once for each day of the year and once more for good measure! The most frequently given command from the Lord is to put our trust in Him.
As a nation, we have a rich heritage of seeing the merciful hand of God in our times of need. From our earliest years and throughout all the tumultuous wars, upheavals, and natural disasters since, His grace has guided the American people. Rest assured, He is no less God today than in the past.
Once again, we must acknowledge our dependence on God and our need for His loving forgiveness, mercy, and healing. By doing so, we can more easily personalize those divine invitations to “fear not” and trust Him. That is why I am deeply grateful that President Trump proclaimed March 15th as a National Day of Prayer for all Americans affected by coronavirus and for our national response efforts. The President wisely reminded us that “Americans have always turned to prayer to help guide us through trials and periods of uncertainty.”
With this in mind, I encourage you to be resolute in taking action. First, make the deliberate choice to trust God and not fear. Second, listen to our governing authorities. They have regular updates with critical information to keep you and your loved ones safe. Heed their instructions and follow President Trump’s guidelines – from sanitizing to social distancing, it’s all important. Third, lend a helping hand. Serving on the frontlines against coronavirus includes calling to check on a senior citizen and donating to charities that help those in need. Simple acts of kindness and service are weapons in the fight against fear and anxiety. America is a loving and giving nation – it’s what has always set us apart and is more important now than ever. Lastly but most importantly, pray. Pray for our nation, our president, and all those making decisions. Pray for our healthcare workers and those infected with the virus and their families. Pray for our economic recovery and for our national well-being. Prayer can move mountains and is a powerful tool in times of uncertainty.
As we take these steps, I am convinced that our prayers will be heard and our fears transformed into courage, confidence, and peace. These are the sort of foundational actions that keep America that “shining city on a hill.” Remember that it was not in times of comfort that America was forged into a great nation but in seasons of great trial. Time and again, Americans have risen to the challenge. That enduring American spirit is built on faith, and in turn, faith is developed in times when it is tested, when we learn what is means to be stressed and fearful – and transform that anxiety into strength.