Last Wednesday was a huge news day regarding the spread of coronavirus, and it has only grown worse since then. On that day, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared a pandemic. American universities announced shut downs and will finish semesters online, the NBA suspended competition, Israel banned gatherings of over 100 people, public health emergencies were declared across the US, and President Trump suspended travel from Europe. That’s only a short list of implemented precautions, and they have expanded exponentially since then. Furthermore, stores have been raided and cleared of all toilet paper, water and other goods.
So, is the threat truly as dramatic as it is made out to be, or are we seeing a gigantic over-reaction? Opinions span the spectrum from “this is a deadly, worldwide threat” to “it is no more dangerous than typical strains of the flu.” Each side pulls convincing statistics to support their case.
Scientific and medical experts are on opposite sides of the argument and Christian voices from around the world have opposing perspectives as well. So, who’s right?
The bottom line: We honestly don’t know how great the threat is. It is definitely real, and perhaps it is every bit as great as indicated. Or perhaps it is over-blown. Regardless, we should be wise, yet not live in panic. There is no need to rush the stores to stockpile toilet paper! On the other hand, it is not likely a good time to visit Italy or Germany! Every day world leaders are making difficult decisions, and often those decisions are rightly made to protect the most vulnerable. In that case, some will label them “alarmists,” while others will argue they didn’t go far enough. (In the midst of an election year, the media will spin the news in whatever direction suits their political leanings.)
But friends, there is a different view to embrace! Making wise, common sense decisions in light of the challenges makes sense, but living in fear and panic does not. Food for thought:
- The Lord knows the number of our days and has ordained every one of them (Psalm 139:15).
- Our lives are firmly in His hands (Psalm 139:5).
- No one wants to be sick, but even if the disease is contracted, the death rate is less than 5%. (The vast majority of deaths to date are to older adults and/or those with pre-existing respiratory issues. We definitely need to care for that demographic and keep them safe.)
- Living in fear steals joy and diminishes the effectiveness of our testimony. Light shines brightest in the darkness and now is the time our light should shine! (See In the Midst of Crisis, Let Your Light Shine!)
- The birth pangs we are experiencing now are but a drop in the bucket of the terrible tribulation that is to come. As followers of Jesus, this should heighten our appreciation of the fact that, though times may seem difficult here and now, we will be saved from the wrath of God! (1 Thessalonians 1:10)
So, in the midst of it all, stay calm, remember who you belong to, and meditate on these promises of God!
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. (John 14:27) 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6) 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
Our God is good, and we are safely hidden in His hands. Allow His love to fill you to capacity today!