I woke up this rainy morning under a cloud of fear, not so much for my own safety, though there is certainly that too, but fear for our world, for the thousands who may be struck down with illness, for the millions who may be nailed with crippling financial loss. The world is out of whack. The clouds gather.

We seem driven to ask who’s to blame for this treacherous virus? Who needs to do what to turn around this hemorrhaging market? Who’s in control? As we are prone to look for scapegoats, we are also searching for a savior. Who’s will save us?

But don’t we desperately need to put the blame questions aside at this terrible moment? What do we need to do? Well, we first need credible knowledge. Let’s read and search and talk and listen. Let’s help each other know what’s going on and what we should be doing. Let’s try not to spread misinformation.

And then, stay smart. Let’s really do all those practical things we’re told about, washing our hands, avoiding big crowds, reporting our illness should we get hit, keeping social distance. Apparently, these things matter.

And then there’s fear. That’s a deeper, really an age-old question. How do we address our fear?

Here are some thoughts. I believe we face fear better together. We desperately need to come together in such times. We need to check ourselves when we are ready to tear down trust. We need trust. Maybe the upside of this crisis, once it passes, and it will pass, will teach us how much we need to renew genuine community. I hope so.

But what else? Believe it or not, I was reading just this morning Psalms 91. The Psalmist begins with this amazing statement:

He will rescue you
from the fowler’s snare and from deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his wings;
you will find refuge beneath his pinions.
His truth will be a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terrors abroad at night
or the arrow that flies by day,
the pestilence that stalks in darkness
or the plague raging at noonday.

The Psalmist is not unrealistic here. This is not a promise of a world without danger or darkness. But it is a promise of the way out of fear.

The Psalmist begins with trust, just where we need to begin, trust in each other, to be sure, but trust in the God who is our shelter, refuge, fortress. The Psalmist knows this is a decision of faith, and faith, given the circumstances, can be a tough act, a courageous, considered choice. It is a choice. We trust or we don’t trust.

Fear not, we’re in control. That’s our accustomed, kneejerk response to any threat, but then, in moments like this, we are bluntly reminded, we are not in control. Suddenly we’re grabbing for the handrails. A little off-balance at the moment, I find myself ready to shift from trust in myself to trust in the God of the universe, the God who loves his children, who wants safety for each one of us. Knowing this, no matter what happens, we can be lifted from fear.

I don’t what to be schmaltzy here, or unrealistic, or in any way over-spiritualizing, but I pray earnestly now, this day, that we may find this deeper trust that lifts us from our fear.

Can you believe this was written, even for us in our own moment of fear and foreboding? Can you believe that’s what I picked up to read this very morning?