Pestilence, Fear, and Vikings

by Jennifer Haynie @JenniferHaynie1

Blogger’s note: Initially, I had planned on launching blog posts related to my upcoming novel, No Options. But due to the onslaught of COVID-19, I decided instead to put off those posts until next week and instead address my observations about what’s been happening near me.

Friday afternoon, I stared in shock. Before me at my local Harris Teeter, anything remotely related to cold and flu season had vanished off the shelves, everything from hand sanitizer to Advil. The same thing at my local Target. Honestly, it looked like a band of marauding Vikings had swept through the area and done some serious damage.

Fear. If there’s now something as pervasive as the Coronavirus, it’s the fear associated with it. Pure, raw, unabating fear that causes us as a society to act completely out of character. We start hoarding, which robs those who are really in need of vital things like toilet paper and hand sanitizer. We lock ourselves away in our homes, afraid even to step outside. We can become isolated despite the fact that we badly need person-to-person contact. Fear can control us.

I know. Last fall, I wrote about fear and my battle to overcome it. Truly, it was a dragon that would rule my life if I let it. I had to make that conscious decision to slay the dragon.

Now, with COVID-19 here in NC, I’ve seen that same fear take over almost everyone’s lives. It’s easy to do. I cannot let it. I will not. I worked too hard to overcome it 19 years ago. Not that fear hasn’t tried to control me. This past week, especially Friday afternoon, it threatened. I had to make that choice. Sometimes, I consciously had to say to myself, “I choose to not let fear rule my life.”

By the time I crawled into bed Friday night, my nerves were stretched tight. I was exhausted. And then I picked up my devotional book. God knew what I needed as I read the verses below.

Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.

—Psalms 91:3-4 (NIV)

It was as if something released inside of me. Gone was the fear. And in its place came a deep peace. God was with me, still is, and evermore shall be. He’s my protector.

Does that mean fear won’t try to keep creeping in? No. It doesn’t. Even after that devotional I read, I’ve had to battle it. But I will. I’ll make that choice to live smartly with the proper measures taken to avoid COVID-19, but I’ll do more than that. I’ll trust in God. He is sovereign.

During these times with COVID-19 seemingly everywhere, fear will try to overtake us. We must battle back against it and slay that dragon. #authenticity #encouragement Share on X

Question: If fear has stalked you, what have you done to battle back against it?

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    The Conversation

  1. Dale Rogers says:

    A beautiful verse, Jennifer. My husband read one similar to that at church this morning.

  2. Stephen Bostrom says:

    Dear Jennifer,

    Well done – on point for what we are facing. Preach it!



    • Jennifer Haynie says:

      I’m taking it day by day. Jesus’s words about today’s troubles being enough and not to worry about tomorrow have come to mind.