Life has been crazy for the past few weeks. COVID-19 has seemingly taken over all our lives as we listen each day to the numbers of new cases and how many have succumbed to this virus.
At first, I was glued to the television, trying to learn as much as I could to protect my family from this invisible monster. However, each day I was becoming more anxious and feeling sick to my stomach, worrying that one of us was going to get this virus and die. Until one day, God whispered, “Sheila, you have been battling an invisible monster since the day you invited me into your heart.”
The Invisible Monster is Real
It is true. I have been battling my invisible monster since the day I asked Jesus into my heart. His name is Satan, and he has a plan.
The enemy’s plan is to loosen us from the foundations of our faith and trust in God. The coronavirus, while real, is just another tool in his tool chest. There is nothing he won’t try to do or use against me or you to take our focus off Jesus and His truth.
As I let that sink into my heart, I thought of all the times I have allowed the enemy to knock my footing off the Rock. The enemy has used a variety of tactics on me, including low self-esteem, fear, sexual and physical abuse, postpartum depression, night terrors, bullies, pre-cancer, a miscarriage, and a divorce to name just a few. You would think I would have learned by now that when fear, anxiety, doubt, depression, guilt, shame, and anger come with two hands grasped around my throat that I would recognize the culprit hiding behind the mask.Sheila let the invisible monster knock her footing off the Rock… maybe you have, too… Click To Tweet
Recognizing the Invisible Monster
Sometimes, it is easy to recognize the enemy’s flaming arrows, and other times it is so subtle that I find myself in deep fear and anxiety before I realize what is happening.
Yes, COVID-19 did fill me with fear and anxiety because my husband has a compromised immune system, and I have had a heart attack. But it doesn’t mean that God isn’t on the throne and in control. My relationship with God is built on trusting Him to be with me no matter what, even if I do get the virus. Yes, it is vital to take all the necessary precautions, but to be in constant fear isn’t how God wants you or me to live.
Praying for Protection
When my daughter was young, she was afraid of the dark. I used to sit by her bed, and she would place a sleeper hold around my neck until she fell asleep. If I tried to leave before she fell asleep, she would tighten her grip, and we would start over.
I started to ask her several hours before she went to bed about all the things she was afraid of that day. She would tell me all her fears, and we would talk about them. By the time it was bedtime, she would no longer be afraid because she had confessed all her worries. We would pray each night, asking God to protect and keep her safe. After praying, she would go right to sleep.
Give Your Invisible Monster a POW!
Just because we become adults doesn’t mean we don’t have fears. God wants us to tell him everything we feel, whether good, bad, or sad. Once I confessed my fear of COVID-19 to the Lord, He told me how to fight this invisible monster. Give the enemy a POW!
More time in prayer means less time listening & watching television or surfing social media, which overloads your mind with the world’s view of this disease, rather than God’s view. Be honest with God and tell Him what you need. Pray and see how God can use you through this pandemic to bring Him glory.
Paul gives some great advice in Philippians 4:6-7(ESV)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
2.) Own & Memorize Scripture
Focus on what you know is true. Don’t allow the enemy to rob you with half-truths, lies, or fake news. God’s word is reliable and true. God has kept every one of His promises since the beginning of time, and they have always remained true through any life crisis or pandemic.
A favorite scripture that reminds me of what God wants me to think about is:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.Philippians 4:8 (ESV)
Each day is a new beginning. Don’t allow the enemy to hold you prisoner to yesterday’s thoughts or mistakes. Keep your eyes on the road that leads you to God’s peace and comfort.
We all have had bad days where we have been overwhelmed with grief due to the tragedies of life. But, this doesn’t mean God thinks less of us or loves us any less. God’s love doesn’t change because of a crisis. God’s love changes us as our heart goes through a crisis.
Crisis always brings us to a crossroad between choices. We can choose to worship and keep loving and living for God or allow the enemy to take us hostage. Ask God to put a song in your heart. Take time to enjoy what is around you that God created.
One of my favorite scriptures is Psalm 145 because it gives the POW in the power of worship. If you need a bib POW, read the whole thing. Here is part of the scripture.
1 I will exalt you, my God and King,Psalm 145: 1-3 (NLT)
and praise your name forever and ever.
2 I will praise you every day;
yes, I will praise you forever.
3 Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!
No one can measure his greatness.
Momma Used to Say…
My momma used to say. “Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die to get there.” The fact is each of us has a time, a day and hour God will call us home. But if I live my life in fear, I will miss out on living the abundant life God has given to me to share with others. This is precisely what the enemy wants you and me to do.
It’s Not Easy Living in a Broken World
My heart breaks and mourns those who have died in this pandemic. I cry for those who are suffering. We are humans living in a broken world, but God captures all our tears, and He grieves with us.
Creating an Awareness for God’s Love
I can’t stop what COVID-19 has done, but I can create an awareness of God’s love and help others who are struggling with fear and anxiety to live each day with purpose. God has designed each of us with a unique plan and purpose. God walks with us, whether we are in the valleys or on top of the mountains.
Moses led the Israelites to the Promised Land, where they encountered many hard things along the way, but He told the people in Deuteronomy what God promised.
So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”Deuteronomy 31:6
We can choose to be strong and walk in courage to help those in need. We can encourage those who are hurting, and we can be there for those who need to know they are not alone and that God has not abandoned them. A phone call, a text, or taking the time to write a note or email can mean so much to someone. Words of kindness are free and don’t cost anything and can make even a penniless person feel so rich.
How Do You Fight Your Invisible Monster?
How about you? How do you fight your invisible monster? Are you growing your faith or your fear?
One last thing, it is okay to be sad, angry, and afraid, but don’t linger there. Why? Because the longer we dawdle the further we wander away from God’s truth. If you need to talk to someone, do it. Asking for help is the first step to healing. God is with you and for you! The next time your invisible monster comes after you, give him a POW!Over the past few weeks, which has grown more, your faith or your fear? Click To Tweet