May 20, 2020

So Many Questions…

“And they said to one another, “Come, let us cast lots, that we may know on whose account this evil has come upon us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah. Then they said to him, “Tell us on whose account this evil has come upon us. What is your occupation? And whence do you come? What is your country? And of what people are you?” -Jonah 1:7-8

When I think about fear in the Bible, I often refer to the story of Jonah.  The book is a case study in the psychology of fear as we see Jonah, the sailors, and even the citizens of Nineveh deal with their own anxieties, worries and concerns.  In particular, I’ve always been fascinated by verse 8 when the sailors pepper Jonah with questions like, “who, what, and why.”  They seem desperate for answers and searching for someone to blame in the middle of the storm.

During this unusual spring, we are asking lots of similar questions about COVID-19.  We also ask these types of questions when dealing with disasters like the regular tornados in Oklahoma and even the bombing of the Murrah building 25 years ago.  Questions are part of the emotional and rational way we deal with our own fears.  When we have uncertainty, we seek answers.  When we have doubts, we seek justification or conclusions.  When we worry, we want some evidence of control.  When we are struggling, we look for reassurance.  In these instances, and especially in times of fear, we look to our faith to find comfort and hope.

As growing disciples of Christ, I believe we all come to the point of realizing that many of our questions may not be fully answered in this life.  When we are afraid, we look to God, to the Scriptures, and to other people of faith for hope.  We find encouragement and support knowing we are not alone.  We remember that God rescues us just like he did Jonah.  And we gain strength for the future when we recognize that God has been with us every step of the way.  So, when you have questions like the sailors did for Jonah, remember that you can put your faith in Christ and know that God will be with you!

– Rev. Phil Greenwald, Executive Pastor of Administration