The world today is treading on uncharted territory. While front line workers are facing a frightening new normal, life for some is at a standstill. The number of infected cases, in many countries, is increasing in geometric progression. Morgues are overflowing with the bodies of the dead. The coronavirus outbreak stopped time and changed life trajectories for many.
A natural question could arise, even in the minds of the faithful – why does God allow such death and suffering? On one hand, there is a realization that it is the same God that could stop the coronavirus and does not. But on the other hand, it is even more important to realize that it is the very same God that sustains your soul in the midst of it. This is not a season for sentimental views of God. This is a time to turn to the solid, unchanging word of God. God is sovereignly, graciously, reigning over the world in the midst of fear and panic. As Sovereign over all things, He remains in full and complete control.
God does nothing, and permits nothing, without wise purposes. Nothing just happens. Everything flows from the eternal counsels of God. We may not fully understand God’s plan in the midst of this pandemic, but we can trust that His plan is always for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28). In this trial, Jesus does not leave us; rather, the cross remains our only hope of assurance. For those who trust Jesus Christ, all of it is kindness. For others, it is a merciful wake-up call.
It is a reminder that we are not in control and must always be dependent on God. It is a reminder that we should be grateful for all things – for groceries, for a roof over our head, good health and our dear and near ones. It is a reminder that life is fragile.
The Bible is an amazing source of encouragement in the most fearful moments of life. We are heartened to trust in the love of God and pursue the righteous teachings of His Word, especially when we feel afraid or anxious. As the Psalmist says, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” It is crucial not to let panic take over our decision-making and rational thought processes. The world has faced much worse in the past and survived all pandemics of the past. We are alive and more populous than ever is proof to that.
“He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us again. On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers …” – 2 Corinthians 1:10-11
This is a time to pray for ourselves, our families, our nation, and all those worldwide whose lives are being devastated by the death and disruption this disease is causing. Let us help ourselves and the world around us with our prayers to the unchanging God who delivered us in the past and has promised to deliver us again!