About two years ago, I was very excited to find out that Adam Hamilton was coming to Houston to promote his new book, Unafraid. I have read several of his books, heard him speak at Annual Conference, follow him on Facebook, and even watched as he gave the sermon at the Presidential Inauguration Prayer Service as President Obama’s second term began. Needless to say, I’m a theology fangirl of his, so I didn’t really care what book he was coming to promote since I had enjoyed everything of his that I had read. Nathan and I went to hear him speak, and I even shared the news of his book tour with a few church members that also chose to go because they enjoyed his work so much.
His book was about fear and anxiety. He noted that he heard a lot of fear from many of his congregation members: fear of the unknown, fear of aging, fear of others, fear exaggerated by the media, fear of death, etc. At the time that Adam Hamilton was writing his book, we were at the beginning of President Trump’s administration, the very beginning of the Russia probes were starting, the NFL protest was beginning, the Las Vegas shooting happened, the opioid epidemic was declared a public health emergency, Hurricane Harvey and Irma struck the gulf, and many other things happened. It is easy to see why we had much fear then and how that fear continues to today. Covid-19 isn’t the only thing that makes us fearful, but I wanted to share a little wisdom that I gained from Unafraid.
Adam Hamilton defined fear as: “False Events Appearing Real.” This can cause anxiety, but Rev. Hamilton challenges us to take a different approach to fear. He encouraged us to:
Face your fears with faith
Examine your assumptions in the light of facts
Attack your anxieties with action
Release your cares to God
It’s a few simple steps that can really help. We are a people of faith. Faith can help us overcome our fear. When it comes to something like Covid-19, examine the facts, such as it does spread, it won’t affect everyone, and there are simple measures we can take like washing our hands for 20 seconds. Attacking our anxieties with action might include that washing hand trick, changing your greeting patterns, or maybe choosing your social gatherings in a different way. Don’t forget to pray, and to release your cares to God. I did a quick Google search, and it says that there are 365 times in the Bible when it says “Fear not!”
May the words of Jesus bring you a little peace in this troubling time. “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.