«And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed» (Deuteronomy 31:8).
A huge fire destroyed the city of Valparaiso, Chile, in April 2014. Great flames spread rapidly, affecting 12 neighborhoods of the city and the surrounding hills. The disaster destroyed 3,000 homes and left about 12,500 people homeless, and approximately 500 injured and 15 dead. Without a doubt, it was a dreadful disaster that left its mark in the history of humanity. The media widely covered the development and outcome of the events, revealing how different people had different ways of dealing with the serious situation. Some were inconsolably crying and, distressed by the loss of their houses and belongings, begged for help. Others, with a shovel in their hands, began to clear out the rubble while the ashes were still smoking. Two different ways of facing the same situations: a passive style, withdrawn, coupled with pessimism and regret; and a more active style, full of courage and bravery, paired with gratitude for spared lives and the opportunity to start again.
When a human being becomes aware of danger, tension automatically increases which causes fear or terror. Whether it is a real or an imagined danger, fear occurs spontaneously. Some become paralyzed while others flee or try to escape; others become strong and are ready to fight. What marks the difference between the two? Several researchers tried to answer this question by identifying distinct possibilities. Some believe that individual resources make the difference. Others affirm that social and emotional support influences such reactions, while others believe that biological factors are involved. No matter the answer, one thing is undeniable: each one of us can choose how to face a calamity.
Dr. Viktor Frankl, who received 29 honorary doctoral degrees from the best universities in the world, emphasizes that we all face difficulties in life, with unexplainable causes sometimes. But in these circumstances, we can choose the attitude and manner in which we face our adversities, trusting that there is a reason and an explanation, though it may be hidden.
In other words, in spite of the difficulties we go through and the fear they may cause us, we can trust that our heavenly Father «leads us as we would choose to be led if we could discern our own hearts and see our necessities and perils, as God sees them.» (Our High Calling, p. 316). Because «the Lord. . . will be with you, He will not leave you nor for sake you,» today, you can choose the path of faith. «Do not fear nor be dismayed!»