About a year ago while on lunch break at work, I stopped at Wal-Mart to shop. Before I entered the building, I noticed some ladies selling decorative signs and other products on a table. On my way out, I stopped to see what these ladies had for sale. I quickly learned that they had made the items by hand and the sale proceeds would benefit a good cause.
Being handmade piqued my interest. And one three-worded plaque caught my eye. It was a four-by-six-inch wooden sign that said “Faith over Fear.” We visited for a moment upon purchasing this little sign and off I went. The plaque was brought home and frankly, forgotten about for some time. It resurfaced sometime later, and I decided it needed to be displayed at my office at work. I put it on a shelf along with many other special items I enjoy seeing.
Enter March of 2020 and COVID-19.
While navigating the unique set of circumstances that this virus presents, I noticed this little plaque on my shelf. This sign caught my attention when I was experiencing a lot of stress and anxiety. It stood out as if a spotlight was shining on it, bright as could be. I pondered this short yet powerful saying and knew just the right spot for it to hang: right behind my computer monitor on the wall.
My computer and phone became the center of my COVID-era workspace with video meetings, emails, virus safety documentation, and schedules demanding my attention. Above it all, I saw my sign and marveled at the comfort and confidence it brought me. Faith over Fear. Faith to know that in the end, I needed to fear not. My faith in Jesus Christ, in his plan, in the ultimate triumph over death and uncertainty, all outweigh the fears that accompany the pandemic.
We learn more about faith from our Savior in the story of the tempestuous sea. Jesus walked on water to serve his disciples. They saw him from the boat but were afraid in this unbelievable circumstance. They had never seen anyone walk on water before and didn’t recognize the Savior until they heard him say, “Be of good cheer, be not afraid.”
At this point, Peter asked to join Jesus on the water, which Jesus obliged. During times of fear, we also find ourselves reaching for some sort of calm in the storm, so to speak. What happened next was so wonderfully recorded in KJV Matthew 14:30-32:
“But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.”
“The wind ceased.” This is how I felt in my office as worries and challenges swirled around me. But my anxiety calmed like the sea under the Lord’s influence. Seeing my little wooden plaque made by the hands of a little-known friend many months earlier brought peace.So many parallels can be drawn in our lives between the winds, the seas, and the fear described in these verses.
During life’s inevitable stress and trials, we, like Peter, can reach out to the Lord in faith. Faith in turn, will give us the strength to overcome fear. All we have to do is ask for help in prayer and walk Christ’s path. I have experienced this comfort many times in my life. May we all take the challenge to have Faith over Fear.
Rick Taylor is a businessman who has lived in Alaska most of his life. He enjoys the outdoors and spending time with his family and is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.