Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My Fear of Ebola

Fear is not from God. I believe most Americans don't regularly experience true fear, worry maybe, but not fear. And yet, as many of us read the news this week, we are struck with our first dose of true fear. Ebola is in the United States, and those charged with protecting us from its wrath are making costly mistakes.

I live in Texas. Those of us who are proud to call Texas home are often passionate about living here. Today, though, we are in shock that such a travesty as Ebola could invade our precious "promised-land." And yes, we are scared. We are mommies and daddies who are fearful this plague will threaten our families. We are Christians afraid for those two young women who are sick. We are Americans fearful of how widespread this epidemic will be.

What do we do with that fear? Some will say it is a healthy fear, akin to fear of the Lord. If you read any details of what this virus does to the human body, it seems reasonable to be scared. I am not so sure. I think, rather, that today's headlines should inspire fear of the Lord.

Personally, what I want more than anything today is for someone to tell me that it's all going to be okay, but no one can tell me Ebola will not spread. We just don't know what the coming days and weeks and months will yield.

But what I hear in my heart is a reminder that whether I live or die, whether those I cherish are sick or healthy, whether this disease is stopped in its tracks or invades us from sea to shining sea, it's all going to be okay in the end if we stay close to God now.

So here are five things I am doing to combat my fear and take comfort in the peace of God.

  1. Repeat "Jesus, I trust in You" over and over, whenever my worry threatens to derail me.
  2. Go to Confession much more frequently. And make sure my family goes, too.
  3. Hug and enjoy my children. I am going to keep seeking to live an abundant life.
  4. Stock up on some essentials. If there is going to be mass panic, I would prefer to stay home.
  5. Boost my prayer life. Time spent in building a relationship with my Savior will ultimately lead to my sanctification.
What I am doing to conquer my fear and uncertainty is to decide to prepare (as much as possible) myself and my family for a good death, whenever that might be. We are aiming for Heaven. It is something we should all be doing all the time, and turning the energy of worry into such a productive pursuit can only bring blessings. Remember, many saints would invite the Lord to send suffering upon them, knowing the redemptive nature of suffering, hoping for more opportunities to unite their suffering to His, and desiring to be face to face with Him as soon as possible.

The Bible uses the phrase "be not afraid" 365 times. Have no fear, my friends. May God's will be done in the living and in the dying. St. Joseph, patron of a happy death, pray for us.

Lord, please bless and protect Nina, Amber, all those caring for them, and those who have had recent contact with them. Send your healing power upon their souls and their bodies, so they might give you honor and glory today and always.

Bless Your Heart!


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