It is a hell of a tough time to be alive. Wherever you live now, you are likely to be looking over your shoulders all the time. It is pretty difficult to get on a bus or a train without it crossing your mind that it may be blown up by terrorists. These fears are real. As American and British forces continue to occupy and fight in Iraq and Afghanistan. As NATO forces continue to drop bombs on Libya. As American drones head for Libya too with their hellfire missiles. As Robert Mugabe continues to insist on being in power the way he knows how. As Muhammadu Buhari continues to disrespect the wishes of Nigerian people and continues to enjoy the support of mobs who see violence and murder of the innocent as a method of protesting election losses. Then every time we get on the public transport, we wonder if some avenging terrorist has made it on board with an explosive device. Every time we get on the street, we wonder if the mob will start killing again.
At dangerous times like these, it is difficult not to be afraid. It is even more difficult to say to your neighbour, don’t be afraid. He will think you are barking mad. He will wonder, what is there not to be afraid of?
The focus of the fear is loss of property, injury or death. Perfectly reasonable for anyone living on planet Earth. But are we focussing too much on these? What about the loss of our souls? If we refocused our concerns to fortifying ourselves with the Holy Spirit, our treasures will lie elsewhere and we shall not be afraid anymore, persuaded that “…neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come…shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
If we refocused our lives, such that we surrender completely to God and let him direct our lives, we can concentrate on doing good; helping those who can’t help themselves, clothing the naked, comforting the suffering, feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty and other wonderful things. We will simply leave our protection to God, the impenetrable shield. We will claim the promise that if God be for us, nobody can be against us. (Romans 8:31).
It is a very comforting feeling to hold when you know that you are under the protection of the Almighty. This protection is best articulated in Psalm 91:4-8:
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
Now that is what I call a promise.
- Nnorom Azuonye