Sometimes we beat fear by celebrating God through a feast just like the Hebrews did thousands of years ago during their first Passover Meal. Read more for how Scott found the answer to Coronavirus anxiety in a New York Strip when he expected turkey gizzards.
Beat Fear by Celebrating God
By Scott Bengtson
Last week I bought a New York Strip steak at the grocery store. I wouldn’t normally buy this at a grocery store if it wasn’t a special occasion, and last week wasn’t. Except it was the only cut available in the meat section.
I knew that selections that day would be odd and that I would be returning with whatever was on offer, but I expected it to be something like turkey gizzards, not New York Strip. We happily dined that night on New York Strip, and I did not have to Google how to prepare turkey gizzards.
The First Passover Celebration
Perhaps it’s because we recently talked about the Exodus, but this experience reminded me of the original Passover meal the Hebrews ate before fleeing Egypt. The details are in Exodus 12. God commands the Hebrews to roast and eat a whole lamb with family or neighbors. This dish was normally reserved for a major celebratory event such as a wedding or birth of a child. Much like a pig roast today, it took a long time to prepare, fed many, and was expensive. It wasn’t grandma’s meatloaf or Taco Tuesday.
Yet this event was set in the context of the political and social tensions surrounding the plagues that God set on Egypt, with a hostile and oppressive Pharaoh repeatedly promising to release the Hebrews then reneging. The feast itself was held mere hours before Pharaoh threw the Hebrews out “with urgency” after the killing by the hand of God of all the firstborn of the Egyptians.
The Final Plague: a Time to Celebrate, not Fear
Put yourself in the shoes of the Hebrews for a moment. They were already oppressed as slaves in Egypt. They had suffered at Pharaoh’s hands as God stressed the Egyptian nation through the plagues He sent. They knew what the final plague was, and they knew that Pharaoh would be personally affected. It wouldn’t take much for any of them to think, “this is gonna be bad.” Perhaps it’s the same fearful thinking that some of us have had recently.
But in spite of that, or maybe contrary to that, God calls the Hebrews, His people, to celebrate! There was more going on than they could see. The drama of Pharaoh and Egypt would soon be behind them and they would be free of the slavery they had lived under for 400 years. Not only were they to celebrate at the moment, but they were to recognize God’s deliverance and mark it with an annual feast.
God’s Provision and Deliverance
The unusual thing here, though, was that God called them to celebrate before His deliverance and with assurance that it would happen. We as humans don’t usually do that. There is never a ticker-tape parade before a Super Bowl or World Series. The soldier doesn’t get the medal before the battle. We don’t know the end from the beginning.
But God does. He is sovereign and He is unbound by time. Events don’t constrain Him. In His patience, we might see absence. In his mercy, we might see injustice. This is short-sighted. He has delivered before and still does today. In the short term, He delivered Lot’s family from the judgement on Sodom and Gomorrah. On a longer scale, He delivered Joseph from prison. On a generational scale, He delivered the Hebrews from their Egyptian slave masters. On an eternal scale, He has delivered His creation, including believers, from sin and its effects.
Do you find yourself somewhere in this story? What are you fearing at this moment? Where in your life now can you see at least in some small way God’s provision or deliverance? How can you beat fear by celebrating? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Other Helpful Resources to Fight Anxiety
As a free resource to help you better manage anxiety, we have put together a free printable for How to Fight Fearful/Anxious Thoughts and Win!
For even more information about how to recognize anxiety and how to trade worry, fear, and anxiety for God’s peace, consider reading a copy of my new book Breaking Anxiety’s Grip: How to Reclaim the Peace God Promises.
In response to the recent global crisis, we have released a series of podcast episodes on our podcast “Your Hope-Filled Perspective with Dr. Michelle Bengtson” about how to defeat anxiety during times of crisis. Begins with Episode 50. Listen to the Podcast on Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast platform.
Resource to Break Anxiety’s Grip
No question, we have a lot to worry about. Children, jobs, homes, health, finances, and more. The solution isn’t to rid ourselves of the sources of anxiety – as if we could. Instead, we need to recognize that anxiety originates from a spiritual influence and that we can fight back using the God-given weapons of power, love, and a sound mind.
We can discover true peace in an age of anxiety.
In Breaking Anxiety’s Grip, Dr. Michelle Bengtson shares her own story of emerging from the battle with anxiety as well as the stories of others. She reminds you of your identity as a follower of Christ and of the peace he promises you in spite of everything.
She provides tools to cope with the crushing emotional burden of anxiety now and, more importantly, shows you how to reclaim God’s peace as a way of life so that you can break anxiety’s grip.
Breaking Anxiety’s Grip: How to Reclaim the Peace God Promises is now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBooks.com, Books-A-Million, and other fine book retailers.
Click here to learn more: Breaking Anxiety’s Grip.