With Margaret Andrew, a member of Kingsland Church in Lexden.

SOMEONE said to me recently he was scared about what is happening outside his own four walls.

He had been invited to a street party and politely said no.

He, like many, is being careful to protect himself as best he knows how from any possibility of contracting the virus and with very good reason.

As I write this, the number of people affected are unlike anything I remember in my lifetime. Nearly 44,000 people have tragically died.

In my family, we went through the trauma and threat of coronavirus when our son-in-law was taken into hospital (thankfully now recovered).

The hurting, the loss, the anxiety about what is to come are gripping so many people right now.

There is such fear around and fear cripples lives.

It can take away hope. It pulls us down. So, is there an answer?

Psalm 91 v1-2 says this: ‘He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust”'.

There is a promise here of peace and protection that we can access, despite all the fear and turmoil around.

We can choose to step into it.

The picture-language of these words shows us how. We turn our attention away from the problem that makes us fearful and we turn towards this huge, mighty God who promises a place of shelter close to him.

The Psalm goes on to say: ‘You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday’.

Give God your attention. In that quiet, secure place he will speak things to you which are so personal, so loving, so uplifting, you will find yourself becoming free from the terrors and the what-ifs and the uncertainties.

You simply have to ask. Freedom in a time of lockdown: now there’s a thought!

Fear didn’t arrive with coronavirus. It was always there.

And once the virus has been brought under control and has effectively gone away, fear will still try to pull us down, using something else as a hook.

God wants to take that hook out and connect us instead to the truth of what he says, because his words are full of life and hope. They set us free. We just need to come close to him and listen.

On the subject of listening, have you heard ‘The UK Blessing’?

This amazing song is easy to find online: the UK churches singing God’s blessing over the nation. Over you.

It will help change the atmosphere around you because this too is God’s word to us all right now.

A place of security despite the turmoil and a declaration of hope and confidence in the face of fear. This is what God is holding out to every person.

Just say ‘Thank you – I’ll receive that.’ You’ll be glad you did.