Ok. At this point, the secret is out. Hope is in short supply these days.
At least, that sure is how it seems. From television news to Twitter, it is abundantly clear that both the global coronavirus pandemic and the social isolation strategy being used to combat it has left vast swathes of the population frustrated, lonely, anxious and, most of all, fearful.
Every hour we are greeted by a familiar rotation of the same talking heads, all of them repeating the same talking points, health warnings and sensationally defeatist reminders of the uncertainty and dangers at hand, nothing new to add but a few updated virus case totals or stock market shifts.
Still, for some reason, I find myself scrolling through social media on a near-perfect hourly rotation of my own, searching. Searching for a bit of encouragement. Searching for the unfortunately rare indication that someone out there is using this time not to despair, but to intentionally love on their family and investing in their faith.
This week, that encouragement came in the form of a heart-warming home video, which captured the moment grade-school-aged Minnesota siblings Brandon and Cameron joined hands at home to share Scripture.
My son Brandon has crippling fear cause of his #autism. His sister taught him a scripture she learned at @FellowshipMiss2 Church to help. Stop letting your fear of #Coronavirus be bigger than your faith in God. Plead The Blood, pray and wash your hands. Amen! pic.twitter.com/R2nnSDo3EA
— Sheletta Brundidge (@ShelettaIsFunny) March 13, 2020
The mother to four young children, three of whom have autism, children’s author and podcaster Sheletta Brundidge told The Western Journal that Brandon’s autism has led to substantial general fear and anxiety, both of which have been compounded by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
When a glimpse of television news reports detailing the first stateside coronavirus deaths sent the seven-year-old into a full-on anxiety attack on March 12, however, sister Cameron stepped up in a big way to provide comfort.
Pulling her brother aside in front of the television, Cameron taught him to recited 2 Timothy 1:7 in times of trouble.
“But God did not give me a spirit of fear, but power, love and of sound mind. Amen,” the two repeated, breaking the verse down in smaller increments.
Their mother was astounded. Cameron, also diagnosed with autism at a young age, had been non-verbal earlier on in her life — and to see her minister to her brother in that way was perspective-shifting for the entire family.
“I was blown away,” Brundidge said. “[Cameron] didn’t just say, ‘It’s going to be OK. Let’s just go get a toy,’ or ‘It’s going to be OK. God’s going to take care of you.'”
“She gave him not just a Scripture but the right Scripture to overcome his anxiety and choose faith over fear,” the mother added.
Choose faith over fear.
That it took a heart-warming lesson from two grade-school-age children to give such a foundational Christian message legs at a time like this in a nation of roughly 167 million self-described Christians is no easy pill to swallow.
It is no small blessing either, however, that we are seeing that message catch on at all. It is one that we should be sharing with neighbors, coworkers, friends and loved ones every day, in every season of life.
As Christians, we believe above all else that Christ died to set us free from the chains of sin and fear and death.
God is bigger than all of those things, bigger than every fear and every disaster. And when we forget that, when we allow fear to rule our lives, we belittle God’s strength and power, lowering him in our minds.
“My daughter just reminded us that God is still in control and Christ is bigger than corona,” Brundidge said. “We want to believe that Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead and he healed blind Bartimaeus and he dried up the blood from a woman who was bleeding almost two decades, but we don’t want to believe that he can heal our land?”
“We want to put God in a little box,” Brundidge said. “We’ll have our worries and our troubles over here and we’ll go to church and praise Him, but then we come back to the world and act like he doesn’t exist.”
“Christ is bigger than coronavirus.”
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