A Healthy Fear

April 7, 2020
Photo: Pixabay

“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1-2, NIV 1984).

I sat across the room from my fellow in training and asked her how she was doing with the COVID-19 chaos. “I don’t know, Dr. Weir,” she said. “It’s crazy. My husband is working in the ICU. For three nights I’ve made him sleep in another room away from our baby. We just don’t know what to fear.”

Do you know what to fear?

I have another colleague who walks around in constant anxiety and fear over our present virus pandemic. She actually seems angry with me that I follow the prescribed guidelines but will not be anxious with her.

Jesus told us whom to fear and whom not to fear. In the Gospel written by Luke, Jesus said, “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him” (Luke 12:4-5, NIV 1984).

Throughout His days on earth, Jesus admonished His followers, over and over, “Do not fear.” But in these verses, He speaks of something that should be feared.  He is telling the world that there is a healthy fear for those who do not know Him, a fear that should turn them toward eternal life.

For those of us who have given our hearts to Jesus, we need no longer fear God, nor the virus, nor cancer, nor any brokenness that life might bring. God is with us now. Heaven is wonderful and waiting—the event that will take us there is almost like a friend. But for those who do not know our Lord, these verses speak loudly. They speak of hell. And whatever hell is like, it is not heaven.

Do you know what to fear? I know that I, as a follower of Christ, should not fear the personal consequence of this viral pandemic, as difficult or tragic as it may be. However, I certainly should fear that there is one I love who might leave this life without knowing God through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Dear Father,
Bless those ill or financially broken because of this viral pandemic. Touch and heal them, please. Let no one I know be caught in its snare without hearing Your name and Your love for them.

Al Weir, MD

Al Weir, MD

After leaving academic medicine, Dr. Weir served in private practice at the West Clinic in Memphis, Tennessee from 1991-2005 before joining the CMDA staff as Vice President of Campus & Community Ministries where he served for three years from 2005-2008. He is presently Professor of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Program Director for the Hematology/Oncology fellowship program. He is also President of Albanian Health Fund, an educational ministry to Albania where he has been serving for 20 years. He is the author of two books: When Your Doctor Has Bad News and Practice by the Book. Dr. Weir’s work has also been published in many medical journals and other publications. Al and his wife Becky live in Memphis, Tennessee, and they have three children and three grandchildren. Dr. Weir is currently serving on CMDA's Board of Trustees.

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