Growing up in the 70’s we became familiar with the word Armageddon – describing the final battle many believe signals the end of the world.
Years later, I find the word still brings chills to me, and a haste to prepare for I don’t know what…
Whatever theological debate is around this word, it is a place that is associated with a terrible time.
So I was amused (and somewhat frightened) when reading in my Facebook feed this past week that this word was used to describe other calamities to be sure to come to our neighbourhood, very soon.
One warning was about tick-maggedon, the other about mosquito-maggedon… and yes, this was the language used. Other dire warnings this week have included recent reports about bed bugs infestations and one that is too close to home – exposure to the dangerous object in the sky, the sun.
I’ve looked forward to summer for a while now, but it has come fast and hard. In our area many are experiencing the calamity of floods. With the heat of the sun, and the melting of the snow, this late spring and feeling like summer is bringing a host of challenges.
A bad year for mosquitoes we’ve been told, and I’ve heard the same dire warnings about ticks.
Sometimes it feels like we live in an unsafe world from recent terrorist attacks to less insidious threats of disease from bugs and bats and the sun. There is much to be afraid of!
Some of this hits close to home… and we do the best we can to live well, while taking great precautions. Because melanoma has touched our family, sunscreen, and the shade are all part of our daily lives.
In this year where I have been deliberate about practicing joy, it has struck me how fear can rob me, and many others, of living relaxed, joyful lives. And perhaps, in this broken world this is a daily quest, a choice, a deliberation to live in peace and trust in the midst of challenging circumstances, or perceived threats.
We can also suffer from compassion fatigue, as we hear story after story of calamities around the world, drought, terror, wars and refugee crisis. There is a feeling of helplessness, as we seek in our own ways to help, and it seems so little.
As we deal with our own home-grown threats, I’ve grown to love using essential oils, which I believe are truly God’s medicine, and if used correctly can be very helpful in prevention and treating things like insect bites and sunburns. There are even oils for anxiety! There are many resources available to us, and I’m thankful for them.
Some of us are more prone to fear than others. Others seem to love living risk filled lives, and you wouldn’t catch me among them! No, I’ll leave falling out of airplanes and racing cars to those with braver hearts!!
If you have a sensitive heart, like mine (which has wonderful and difficult qualities), we will be more affected by these fear-based forecasts. Sometimes I just need to take a break from the news stories and find some peace by a lake or in a garden where I feast on what is beautiful and good.
I’m also reminded that there are 365 quotations from the Bible that remind us not to be afraid – that is one for every day! I have always taken great comfort in this; that God knows my tender heart and our Creator reminds us that we are always assured of his love and care in any circumstance.
When I set my heart on these beautiful words, peace overcomes fear. We cannot always control the challenges we face, but we know God will see us through. And that is something I believe, with all my heart.