Do Not Be Defeated by the Spirit of Fear

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Photo: Joseph Barrientos, Unsplash

Do Not Be Defeated by the Spirit of Fear


"Fear defeats more people than any other thing in the world." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

An article in today’s National Post tells the story of an anonymous pregnant mother who is considering abortion. Her reason: she can’t get coverage on a medical test for the Zika virus.

If you haven’t been following, the Zika virus is widespread right now in Brazil. It is a flu-like virus transmitted by mosquitoes, and though its symptoms are subtile, sometimes even undetectable, it has been linked to issues like microcephaly in unborn children.

Microcephaly is the development of a smaller than normal head, due to irregular development of the brain. It can cause a variety of issues, and pregnant mothers in Brazil who have Zika are rightfully worried.

We should keep the control of this outbreak, and those affected in our prayers.

Back to the details of the Canadian woman in the article. She has concern about having contacted Zika, as she was in Brazil in December. She has no symptoms of Zika, and is not even aware of having been bitten by any mosquitoes on her trip.

But she is threatening abortion nonetheless.

“I don’t recall having any bites, and I didn’t exhibit any symptoms, but I can’t definitively say I wasn’t bitten.”

She has no symptoms of anything being wrong, but the prospect of possibly having a child with a disability is enough to abort.

“We are going to be left with the option of terminating what could be a perfectly healthy pregnancy, because we are just completely unwilling to take the chance.”


What this mother relates is a life driven by fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of what might happen. Fear of hardship.  

It's not that her fears aren't justified. I would be afraid, too. Not knowing if something might harm your child is alarming and deeply stressful.

But the answer to fear is not what this woman is choosing. She is threatening to stomp out any chance of abnormality in her child, by stomping out her child. 

That is what is heartbreaking. 

What is the Christian answer to this kind of fear? 


Mother Teresa said, “Love to be real, it must cost. It must hurt. It must empty us of self.”

In a difficult situation like this there is an opportunity to trust in God and to be expanded in our ability to love. 

Mother Teresa also said: “Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love but to use violence to get what they want.”

It hurts me that this describes my country. It hurts that our system allows for the elimination of others due to our fear. I love Canada, and I hope our future is that of a civilization of love. We need not be a culture of fear, a "culture of wellbeing" or a "throwaway culture," as Pope Francis describes.

If there is no room for imperfect children in our hearts, then we need to check out hearts!

Would that our hearts could be more like this Brazilian couple. Their sadness is genuine, but so is their resoluteness and their hope.


These people understand love. And they give others a chance to express their love for them and for their son, Gabriel.

I believe God will bless them in it all. 

Let's take a moment to pray for mothers and families everywhere facing difficult situations, that the spirit of fear will not overcome. 

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control. (2 Tim 1:7)

In a difficult situation like this there is an opportunity to trust in God and to be expanded in our ability to love. — Josh Canning

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