Old man winter, what a season you can be. I’m not referring to the way in which you drop the temperatures well into the negatives or the layers of snow you bury us under for months at a time. No, it’s that subtle silent awful THING that seems to be unknowingly sprinkled all throughout, lying in wait to prey upon its next victim.
If you are like me, the mere mention of those words contain power enough to send you into a wide eyed panic, gathering your chicks under your wings as you brace for the worst. Shortly after becoming a Mom, I quickly realized that we would now have the opportunity to sample every strain of Influenza the season had to offer. My default became fear, panic, anxiety, worry, and a frantic attempt to control.
“God, please don’t let us get sick!!”… “God, heal us quickly!!” became a common prayer, prayed multiple times a day as we went through bottles of hand sanitizer at an alarming rate. My emotional, physical, and spiritual health began to take a toll in my constant state of worry.
Certainly, this is not how God intends for us to live. His Word is rich, full of truth and encouragement but in the process I had forgotten what it was like to LIVE out his promises in my day to day. I sat down, pen, paper, and Bible in hand as He helped me regain perspective.
God works all things together for my good. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
God strengthens and upholds me. “So do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
God has given me a sound mind, not a spirit of fear. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of sound mind” (2 Tim 1:7).
God is always with me. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified. Do not be discouraged. For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
God offers me peace. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, present your requests to God and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
This piece of paper now sits open on my desk every winter season. It serves as a daily reminder of His truths and helps me to regain perspective when I begin to give in to fear and worry. I may not be able to prevent germs from finding their way into my home, but I can choose to stand on His promises regardless.
I want to be a woman whose prayers and thoughts aren’t smothered in worry and fear this time of the year armed with my Lysol wipes in hand, but rather, trust. Trust that if and when the dreaded germs strike, He is with me, offering strength, peace, and encouragement. I want to have a sound mind, not a spirit of fear, because I trust that he truly works all things together for my good.
This season, my prayers have a slightly different ring to them. Sure, I still ask God to keep us healthy but have added, “whatever comes our way this winter, help me to respond in a way that reflects who you are in my life. I trust you.”