We fear things we don’t understand. Our lack of understanding makes us feel like we have no control, and humans like to be in control. The following article will outline why we should have hope as we go through this Coronavirus season.
When I was a young boy, I would sometimes spend the night at my grandmother’s house. On one such occasion at bedtime, my grandmother told me to turn off the lights, get in bed, and go right to sleep. I pulled down the covers and intended to turn off the light and go to sleep just as she had said, but there on my sheets, my little 5-year-old eyes saw a huge spider. I ran from the room, found my grandmother, and led her back to confront the intruder.
When we came back into the room, of course, the spider had vanished. She must have thought that I was trying a new strategy to stay up longer; I was sternly ordered into bed. I protested, but she wasn’t buying any of it, reluctantly I climbed in and pulled up the covers. I can still remember the feeling of not knowing what was going to happen next. Would the spider bite me? Would I feel his hairy legs brush against my skin?
Thankfully nothing happened except maybe I kept a spider warm for one night, but to this day, I hate spiders. That feeling of not knowing what was going to happen next reignites each time I see a giant spider where it shouldn’t be.
As an adult, I’ve had the privilege of taking several mission trips to countries such as India, Nepal, and Myanmar. As you can imagine, each of these countries has some pretty threatening critters that you do not want in your bed. On the trip to Myanmar, we checked into our rooms weary from the journey. As I was bringing my bags into the room, I caught movement out of the corner of my eye. There was something green running across the wall behind the curtain. I was greatly concerned because, of course, I realized that I and this creature would be sleeping in the same room.
I asked someone what it was, and if I should be concerned, they explained that this little “green lizard-like” creature was someone you wanted in your room because he would eat the bad critters. If I didn’t understand “the why” of my little green friend, I would have thought of him as an enemy, but because I understood “the why,” I was glad to share the room.
Fear has gripped our nation as we watch non-stop coverage of the Coronavirus Pandemic. This fear is also the result of not knowing what is going to happen next and feeling as though everything is out of control.
Don’t misunderstand me, God did not send this sickness, the virus is not good, but God often works in the midst of difficult situations. If we look closley we can see some very positive results. Most of us have grown up in a country that has been a place of peace and prosperity. Unfortunately, people who have had their every need met, begin to take such blessings for granted. It is hard for them to see the value of what they have because they have always had it. Therefore, they are not thankful, worse yet, they feel entitled.
It is a hard lesson, but we are learning it now. All the bounty of America is from the hand of God and can be taken away overnight. Is it possible that this is God speaking to the fat selfish hearts of Americans telling us that it is time to remember from where our blessings come? Is it possible that God has allowed this season as a discipline from a caring Father to His spoiled children? Not to destroy them, but to create a thankful heart, teach, correct, and prepare them for even greater things because He loves them.
Look at how quickly life has changed from business as usual to thoughts of survival. How many of us have ever worried about running out of toilet paper before, or thought about this being the last bottle of ketchup for a while? When we look at America, there is a striking resemblance to the Laodiceans in the Book of Revelation.
Re 3:17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.
Is this season God’s loving call to repent?
We can see other blessings in this season. There are many who don’t follow Christ, who are looking for hope during this time. When things were going well, they may not have ever considered watching a video from a church on Facebook, but now they are looking for answers, and millions are “clicking” to hear what the church is saying. This alone may result in millions of salvations.
We also see a different kind of ministry happening. In the past, Sunday mornings were the big event and should be, but now, the church is being the church maybe more than ever before. On Sundays, we talked to the group, but now it is “one on one” conversations. “How are you doing?” “Do you have enough food?” “Is everybody Ok in your house, do you need anything.” “Can I pray for you?’ This is real. This is the church.
Is it possible that what we see as a curse, is God strategically reordering priorities to focus on people, meeting needs, person to person connection, and in the process the Gospel going out to the whole earth?
If we understand “the why” of what’s happening, maybe we won’t feel so out of control. If we understand that God is doing something through all this, maybe we won’t fear, maybe we will see this time as an opportunity for prayer, personal transformation, and the greatest opportunity for advancement of the Gospel that we’ve ever had.
Jer 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.