A few weeks ago, I had a bad cough and cold which kept me stuck indoors for about a week. Fast forward a month later, I was still feeling a bit ‘off’ so late one night, I decided to google.
Now anyone who’s got a smidge of medical knowledge will tell you,never, ever Google medical symptoms. A quick search of even flu symptoms, will soon have you signing up for a funeral plan, convinced you’re about to pop your clogs with a rare and virulent disease. It’s also a great way to develop blinding, angst-inducing hypochondria.
A few minutes of searching and yep, there it was; a pain in my leg, a twitch in my arm, a bit of a headache…an encroaching sense of fear that maybe I really was ill? And because I’d opened the door and organised a welcoming party to Fear, Google was only too happy to show up and confirm my suspicions.
Hypochondria: (noun): Pertaining to or suffering from an excessive worry about health.
We label people ‘hypochondriacs’ as a way of saying, it’s all in your head…stop time-wasting…’ But in reality, hypochondria is really only another word for fear. And the problem with fear is that once the door is opened, the rest often strongarms its way in, rampaging through the house like a bolshie burglar, dumping anxiety and a certain sense of impending doom in every room.
You know fear has invaded your space if you’re thinking more about the desolate future, than the present.
You know fear has got you in a grip if you’re imagining all kinds of catastrophic scenarios which don’t take into account God’s love, grace or his ability to fix things.
You know fear has gotten in the way, when its voice is the only thing you can hear.
Fear is pretty normal and is often an understandable human reaction to life’s circumstances.Excessive, dehabilitating fear which stampedes through the corridors and makes you dread the unknown, isn’t.
The truth is (the real truth)…we are actually all dying. Cheery thought, I know…but it’s true.
The Bible confirms it, but it makes a distinction. While our bodies daily go through the life and death cycle, as believers, our spirits actually grow stronger each day, in prep for the amazingness of eternity.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16)
In other words, no matter what we’re going through (real or imagined), fear starts to lose some of its power when it finally sinks in, that though our bodies can let us down, nothing…nothing at all can kill our spirit.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
I don’t think Paul wrote these words in order to chuck out a trite response to the issue of pain and suffering either.
History says he was a man who eyeballed torture and death, but somehow knew that nothing, not even sickness, fear or death, could ever seperate him from the God who made him.