This brings me to a conversation I had with a friend this week. I received a text asking, “Just wondering if it's just me, but does any of this recent mess make you question the medical field and vaccines in general? I am super nervous about giving them to Henry* for some reason.” I took a minute to consider this. (Don't worry, this blog is not a debate about vaccines.) After so many times of questioning what to do for my family in various situations and turning to the Bible for answers, the same stories I always find helpful immediately came to mind. The first story is in Acts 28:3, where Paul is bitten by a poisonous snake. He shook it off into the fire and was unharmed. The second story is in 2 Kings 4:39. Some young men had made a pot of stew and taken a few bites before realizing the ingredients were poisonous. Elisha throws some flour into the pot, and no one was harmed. Both of these stories illustrate God's children unknowingly coming in contact with harmful situations, and yet they are unharmed because of His protection.
In the year 2020, the age of information, we have access to more content than we know what to do with. I remember when fat was evil and the root of all disease; then 20 years later, fat is good! Sugar is evil! As a mother, I tend to get easily caught up in trying to be “all knowing.” I search symptoms on Web MD to see what's wrong. I fact-check articles and videos so that I can distinguish truth from fake news. I try to find every angle before I make a decision on something. In the end, I am overwhelmed. I don't know how to differentiate between fact and fiction on every subject. And this is when God says, “I don't need you to be all knowing. I need you to trust me because I AM.”
Jesus died on the cross for us so that His blood can be a covering over our lives. When I am uncertain about a decision, I pray and ask God for direction. I also ask Him to protect me from the unknown mistakes that may come with my decision because I truly desire to please Him and follow His will for my life. My understanding is so limited, but His is not.
There are so many favorites I have when it comes to scriptures that banish fear and anxiety, but the one that always comes to mind first is Matthew 6:34 (NIV), “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” And when my mind starts to feel like a whirlwind, I actually say to myself, “Stop!” and I quote Philippians 4:8 (NIV), “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatsoever is true, whatsoever is noble, whatsoever is right, whatsoever is pure, whatsoever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” When I stop being anxious about the unknown and start thinking about what is lovely and pure in my life, it is incredible how my worries melt away.
*Names were changed to protect privacy.
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Stacey Areno is a mother of two girls, Ellie and Emma, and a wife to Caleb. She has a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and a Master's degree in Educational Leadership and Administration. She credits her mother, Stephanie Fruge, with instilling in her a strong faith in God and a passion to study the Bible. She attends Livingway Pentecostal Church in Lake Charles, Louisiana.