One of my favorite movies is “What About Bob?” Bob Wiley has some emotional problems which include irrational fears (and it’s always easier to laugh at the irrational fears of others!). The movie is about him seeking help. As you might guess, he pursues some “remedies” that don’t really work. Bob has hope for a better future, but often has hope in the wrong things.
Right now, our world needs hope! Most people have some kind of hope — but do they have hope in the wrong things? Some have hope in social distancing, that this will fix things. Some have hope in a cure, and that this will come about rapidly. Others have hope in our government, that they will get on top of things and restore life back to normal. A few have their hope in themselves and their positive thinking (“I feel good. I feel great. I feel wonderful”), with their focus on simply surviving.
Don’t get me wrong: social distancing, hope for a cure, and even some positive thinking are not bad things. But what is behind all of this fear? Certainly a fear of the unknown, but for many people it’s also a fear of death.
A fear of the unknown should simply remind us that we are not in control. In fact, recent events show how little we can control. As Christians, we should actually take comfort in the fact that we’re not in control. Since we often see the wickedness of our own heart, we should praise God that He is in control. Concerning death, I really dislike the idea of dying, especially if there is pain and suffering involved. But I do not fear death and the afterlife. I know where I’m going.
How can this help us to share with our neighbors? When you connect with your neighbors, ask them if you can pray for them. Ask them if they have any current fears. Are they more fearful of uncertainty or death? Then pray for them right there. Remind them that we had a Heavenly Father who cares for us. Hopefully, this will be an inroad to future spiritual discussions.
Uncertainty and death are certain. How we respond to these are up to us. Our goal is to add hope—hope in a Heavenly Father who loves us and is patiently waiting for us to run to Him. Running after the wrong things is never helpful (except for Bob Wiley, but that’s Hollywood for ya!).