Several months ago I presented a series titled, “Walking By Faith Through a Pandemic.” I taught on how to experience God’s peace in the midst of life’s storms. It was very well received and so we adapted it into a short book. This blog is an excerpt from that book, Walking By Faith Through a Pandemic.
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In the late 1940s, W. H. Auden wrote the famous poem, “The Age of Anxiety.” He created it during a time when sociologists, psychologists, and psychiatrists agreed that people were much more fearful and anxious than their parents’ generation. Eighty years later, the problem is still not resolved. Our society is as anxious as ever, and the virus has only intensified the distress.
Dr. Tim Keller provides solid insight into the nature of our fear. He says we have drifted away from God as the source of a secure foundation. When we decide we don’t need God, that we can live better without Him, on our own, autonomously, we throw open the door for fear to infiltrate our lives. When we move away from God, we experience a real sense of our finiteness here on earth, often times inciting positions of the universe that are just too big to handle.
This reminds me of a story from my childhood.
When I was six, I remember persuading my parents to let me go trick or treating with a few older boys on Halloween night. I was excited and having a blast until I realized I couldn’t keep up with the group. Eventually, I became separated and had no clue where I was. As I wandered around by myself for what seemed like hours, I grew afraid and started to cry. It wasn’t until I saw my dad in the distance that my tears turned to a smile, feeling safe in his presence. All fear had disappeared.
Clearly, I tried to take on something that was too big for me to handle. It’s easy to believe we can run our lives better than God, but there is nothing more foolish than to think we have life under control when it is not controllable.
Do you know the moment a person experiences a true sense of peace in their lives? It’s when they believe they are secure. A person finds security when he builds his life on that which can’t be taken away. Conversely, insecurity is when you build your life on something that can be taken away. Note the key phrase: build your life on.
What is the foundation you have built your life upon? Is it something that you can lose? Can it be taken away from you?
Augustine believed your fears tell you a lot about yourself, that you can always follow your worries to that which you have built your life around.
The highly regarded existential psychologist, Rollo May, made this observation:
“Anxiety comes when something that you have put your real security in – something that made you feel in control, something that made you feel like you had an identity – is threatened or it implodes.”
Is there an absolute security, a true foundation that can always be relied upon? The Bible teaches that Christ should be that center.
One moral philosopher and writer, who undeniably grasped this concept, was C. S. Lewis. Notably one of 20th century’s greatest thinkers, Lewis moved from atheism, to theism and, finally, to the Christian faith. In his search for truth, Lewis found it in the person of Jesus. He believed Christ was the one who could unify and guide his life, becoming his blessed and ultimate assurance.