Church of England Diocese of Leicester Burbage with Aston Flamville

Thought for the day - Thursday 7th May

7 May 2020, 11:45 a.m.

Thought for the day 7th May 2020

Fear ……. whats’ that?

Tomorrow the 8th of May, Her Majesty the Queen will broadcast to the Nation on the 75th anniversary of the end of hostilities in Europe. On the 15th of August 1945 Japan surrendered, bringing World War II to an end. Just twelve days prior to the Japanese surrender I was born, so have no recollection of air raids, sirens and the fear that both had engendered among the people of this country during six long years.

My arrival initially came as a joyful interlude for Mum and Dad, who had endured all those years of bombing, death, destruction and hardship. However, this respite from worry and stress was fairly short-lived, as it was soon discovered I had a weak respiratory system and my early years were plagued with frequent attacks of asthma and bronchitis, not to mention several spells in hospital.

Although my asthma is now controlled, I still carry the legacy of those bygone days, so when I learned of the symptoms and possible outcome of catching Coronavirus, I wasn’t sure how I would react emotionally. Fear is one of the most powerful emotions. It has a very strong effect on your mind and body. Some people become overwhelmed by fear and want to avoid situations that might make them frightened or anxious. Can you imagine people being gripped by fear during the war with bombs dropping all around them?

So why, since we were first told about Covid-19, have I not felt afraid?

How often have we heard the phrase “Keep calm and Carry on”?

Last Sunday during our ‘Zoom’ service, the choir sang for us the hymn ‘Trust and Obey’ by John H Simmis. It was a favourite of my mother’s and in fact we sang it at her funeral. I find the second verse to be particularly meaningful at this time:

“Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,

But His smile quickly drives it away;

Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,

Can abide while we trust and obey.

During my Christian journey I have come to greatly believe in the power of prayer, that when we pray, we admit that God’s ways are higher than ours. We need to show that we are leaving our troubles and burdens in His capable hands, and in fact the Bible promises that when we reach out to Him in prayer, He hears us. So that, ladies and gentlemen, is why, throughout all this, I have not felt afraid. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that I feel the presence of His guardian angels around me. In Deuteronomy 31: verse 8 we read “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Carol Hope.