He’s Just Trying to Scare You
“An encounter with an aggressive hippopotamus reminded me of a biblical source of courage.
My head snapped around, and without thinking, I crouched in fight-or-flight position. Fifteen yards away, a huge male hippopotamus had just lunged out of the Palala River, black eyes fixed on me, mouth impossibly open in a noisy explosion of water.
As I stepped back from the river bank, he slipped back beneath the surface. I looked at the ranger next to me. He had glanced at the hippo, before returning to the animal tracks he was following in the dirt.
Keeping my eye on the river, I kept the ranger between the water and me.
Danger lurks in Eden
In the pristine Waterberg Massif of South Africa, stream water is pure enough to drink without filtering. Baboons, monkeys, hyraxes, impalas, bushbuck, zebras, wildebeests and eland are plentiful.
Waterberg has been called an Eden, but not all the animals are placid. The leopard I heard rasping outside my rondavel the night before would not lie down with the kid. Voracious Nile crocodiles congregate in river pools.
While hiking, we watched constantly for rhinos. I was instructed always to have a tree to my front mentally selected, and if anyone yelled “rhino!” I was to sprint and climb my tree.
“But,” another hiker asked, “what if you find it’s a thorn tree?”
“If there’s a rhino,” the ranger assured, “you won’t notice the thorns.”
Back to the hippo
But at this precise moment, I was focused only on one conspicuous hippo. A big male with foot-long teeth can weigh 10,000 pounds, run more than 20 miles an hour and bite a crocodile (or a columnist) in half!
As he submerged, V-shaped ripples moved toward us. A few moments later I flinched again as the brute gave another explosive display of size and strength, much nearer than the last.
The ranger flashed a smile: “He’s just trying to scare you.”
I tried to smile back: “It’s working!”
He gestured to the vertical drop from the bank to the river. Hippos, it turns out, can’t jump. For all their size, a step up of even a yard or two puts them off. In spite of the aggressive spectacle, we had never been in any imminent danger.
A biblical key to courage
As the adrenaline in my blood slowly dissipated, a Bible passage came to mind. Our world is an increasingly frightening place; dangers lurk at home and abroad. Prophecies of what the Bible calls the end time show the world will grow immeasurably worse before it will get immeasurably better.
But the Bible says Christians shouldn’t fear: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:18-19).
When we comprehend the depth of God’s love for us, and the unlimited power He commands to act on that love, we know we are absolutely safe in His hands. People in the world—and our evil adversary—will try to frighten us, distract us into rash and wrong thoughts and actions. But nothing can prevent God from accomplishing His perfect will toward you and me. It is His “good pleasure” to give us His Kingdom (Luke 12:32).
So, rather than fearing the hippos of the world, we can take courage by concentrating on perfection in love: our growing love for God and His perfect love for us.” From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/discern/january-february-2020/hes-just-trying-to-scare-you/
Fear and Coronavirus
“The coronavirus pandemic is dominating everything in our world today. Beyond the immediate concerns to human life we have seen stock markets crater and a disruption of virtually all aspects of public life. Major sporting events have been canceled, schools are closing for weeks at a time and we are seeing empty streets and plazas all over the world. It is a sobering time when one stops to consider this is a very real threat that could spiral out of control without everyone taking it seriously, doing their part and heeding the best practices advocated by governments.
From what I read, the best efforts to protect their people and stem the virus have been done by South Korea and Israel. When the virus appeared in South Korea, they immediately tested everyone for the coronavirus and quarantined any who tested positive. Israel banned flights and visitors from infected countries and, more recently, has banned all foreign visitors and instructed all arrivals by air to self- quarantine for fourteen days. These are tough measures taken by both nations—but effective ones.”
We have been asked, “is this the beginning of the biblically prophesied period of global pandemic described in Matthew 24 and Revelation?”
While the present outbreak is a serious event, it is not of the scale predicted by Jesus Christ in these prophecies. There are other markers described in scripture that must occur before those age-ending events take place. What we are seeing with the coronavirus gives us an opportunity to soberly evaluate the serious days in which we live. This event can spur us to better understand what God’s Word does tell about end-time prophetic events and to seriously examine our lives and align ourselves with God’s righteous teaching. The world is having a wake-up call.
How will you respond?
I have been urging readers and viewers to understand this serious time, to read their Bibles for comfort—not to fear. Fear is a normal human reaction in a time when events seem out of control. Fear can paralyze the heart and complicate our response. God does not want us to be irrationally fearful—instead, be concerned, act prudently and take precautions.
Notice what Christ said about how the world will react at the time of end. “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; with perplexity, the seas and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken” (Luke 21:25-26). Fear will come from those who are caught unprepared for the cataclysmic events around them. Fear enters when the inner life is not settled by the presence of the spirit of Christ—a spirit that brings peace during turmoil. Jesus Christ never wants His disciples to be unduly fearful. Among His last words before His death was the exhortation to not be afraid but to be led by His peace (John 14:27).
I encourage you to read this short article about dealing with anxiety.
Beyond Today has many tools to help you sort through the mass of news reports about this current crisis. Our biblical worldview will help you put today’s events in the context of God’s purpose for this world.
God is in control of history. Find your place in this divine plan and you can meet this crisis and those to come.” From: https://us1.campaign-archive.com/?e=72c729d811&u=1d04480cefc2e7c4492fe4a04&id=4178109007
The rescued cat that nearly starved, and I are doing well. I call him Casper. He is a Siamese, but his “points” are very diluted, almost ghostly. He is the sweetest thing, but eventually, when all this corona thing lets up so that vets and clinics can open up properly, he will have to be tested for FIV and FeLV, then fixed and vaccinated. But for now he loves to eat, and lay stretched out on the couch. If I sit on the couch too, he is right there waiting to be stroked, and if I don’t sit there, he will come and get me ! He is eating very good food, Wellness, and on ProBios (Probiotic), so his coat is starting to feel a lot better.
My neighbor and I tried to participate in the Bible study with the folks at the local church through Zoom, but it kept on breaking up. Her dog laid down quietly near my cat for two hours, while we watched two sermons from different churches on YouTube, for the Sabbath day.