“I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power and love and soundness of mind.” II Timothy 1:6-7 (NRSV)
When Paul writes to young Timothy, he writes to remind him of how his trust in God began with his mother and grandmother, and continued to grow as he learned from Paul. Trusting God is different than merely believing in God. Our one-day-at-a-time determination to trust God works to shrink the normal fears we have as human beings, and expands our capacity to go through the day with serenity using the hours to enjoy what we have been given (even in self-isolation!), and to help others as the need presents itself. These verses from Paul’s Second Letter to Timothy were given to me when I was quite young, when I didn’t know much about fear and about trusting God. Today, having experienced many different expressions of fear, I realize that fearful anxiety usually comes from my need to control or manage things that appear threatening, whether real or not. In the current environment, I cannot control a virus; I can only manage my own behavior in such a way that is not a threat to others. I can act intentionally, with loving consideration, and avoid selfish choices. And as you and I wait with patience, it is helpful to remember what Julian of Norwich wrote, “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.”
Rev. Dr. David Kaiser-Cross
God, be my shepherd this day. Lead and guide my soul in quietness. Calm my fears and grant me courage to walk the path of righteousness. Anoint me with the power of your goodness and love, that I may dwell in your house forever. Amen.