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Be not concerned about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God; and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (2 Corinthians 4:6-7) I used to believe that anxiety was just a spiritual issue. If I felt a pit in my stomach or my thoughts plummeted into a dark hole of self-loathing, I was obviously not believing Jesus' promises strongly enough. I'd increase my prayer time and memorize more Bible passages, but to my great dismay, nothing had changed. After years of achieving nothing, I concluded that Paul's advice to be worried about nothing were merely wishful thinking. Here's what I overlooked in Paul's advice:

6. Having said that, this still sucks.

I'm terrified. Being a pastor does not magically protect me from this. Actually, terrified is probably a better term. I don't want my children to have any more difficulties. I don't want them to think they're foolish. I don't want this foolish disease to take away all of their hard work. When I say something may happen, I'm being practical. I want the best for my children, and I'm worried about how this illness will affect them. What exactly do they do all day at school? Let's face it, none of us know. I never want children to have to go through the trauma of losing a parent at such a young age. My wonderful buddy lost her mother when she was the same age as my youngest kid. That agony still rings through her.

The most heated discussion on social media this weekend has been about the proper amount of anxiety for a large, long-term interruption in everyday routines caused by the COVID-19 epidemic. The dispute is political, with fresh polls suggesting that Republicans are significantly less inclined than Democrats to be concerned about the coronavirus epidemic in the United States. Americans of all faiths have been more concerned in recent years about the possibility of a big pandemic, a hypothetical topic that has become all too real in recent weeks.

Have I not instructed you? Be fearless and powerful. Do not be afraid or discouraged, because the Lord your God is with you everywhere you go. ESV Joshua 1:9 When God calls us to do the seemingly impossible, He reminds us to trust in Him, just as He ordered Joshua. God emphasized that Moses, who went before Joshua and led His people through the desert and along many perilous roads, was obedient and righteous. God was never far from his side. God's promises are never broken, and this is what God was pointing out to Joshua when he accepted the responsibility of guiding His people. He was terrified and uncertain, but God's promises and love can never fail!

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