Have you seriously thought about the Coronavirus yet? As headlines such as “86,022 Cases and 2942 Deaths From COVID-19,” Risk of Global Spread ‘Very High’ Warns WHO,” “Everyone Will Get Coronavirus, Virologist Warns,” and “CDC Confirms Second U.S. Coronavirus Case of Unknown Origin” dominate the internet, I can’t help but think about how vulnerable—yet totally oblivious to that vulnerability—we as humans typically are. Yet God gives occasional moments of clarity.
“Teach us to use wisely all the time we have.”
(Psalms 90:12 CEV)
I’ve lived long enough that I’m not easily panicked. I remember Y2K and the scare that precipitated; I realize we tend to overreact. Yet there are times when forces greater than us threaten, and this may well be one of those moments. The Coronavirus will apparently infect many, if not all, of the world’s population unless a vaccine is prepared in time, which at this time is at least a year or year and a half out. How should we respond?
Certainly not in panic, because while this particular virus and the deaths it’s caused have dominated recent headlines, there are many other ongoing and less publicized threats to our physical survival we are constantly exposed to—it’s just that we don’t dwell on them. When we leave in our cars in the morning, we don’t think that we may not return—whether because of an accident, or heart attack, or gunman at work or school. When we lie down to sleep we don’t imagine that a tree will crash through our roof and end our lives, or that we will die in our sleep. Certainly these things could happen; in some cases they do—we just don’t dwell on them. Yet there is a general phobia that is increasingly materializing today through the media reports concerning this particular threat.
So how should we respond, as the people of God Well, think about it: yes, we should take reasonable recommended precautions, as well as try to keep our immune systems strong by eating healthy food, sleeping enough, and taking our vitamin C’s (or whatever other methods we use to survive the cold and flu season). But beyond that—what? What can we do?
The answer is—nothing. More specifically, we can commit ourselves to our Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer God—as we should always have done and continue to do after this particular threat has abated. Because that’s where we’ve always been, are now, and will continue to be—in His hands!
“For the life of every living thing is in His hand, and the breath of every human being.” (Job 12:10 NLT)
So often we imagine ourselves masters of our own destiny, not acknowledging or frequently even recognizing that He is the Master of everything—including what happens to us. Because He allows us choice and free will, we come to think we can do anything we want, when the reality is we can only do something if He allows it. Think about it: have you ever wanted something so badly, and done everything in your power to make it happen, and still not gotten the outcome you hoped for in the end? God does not allow us everything; I do believe some things are just not meant to be.
So while I would be the last person to advise a fatalistic stance—that we should give up because it’s hopeless—I do think this moment is one of the many gifts God gives us. You see, we need to recognize He is God and we are not—and while we can do so much as human beings, there are limits to our capacity to control everything. We desperately need to understand that there are other situations in which, apart from trusting in Him, there isn’t much we can do. And under normal circumstances we aren’t often afforded a moment of clarity like this.
So what should we do? Be right with God. Not according to our own opinion—because we’re good people or do good things or aren’t as bad as others—but according to Him. Because we recognize our sin and depravity, and have asked for Christ’s holiness as a substitute before God for our lack of it. Because we trust in Jesus Christ. Because we recognize He is God, and believe in Him and have committed ourselves to follow Him no matter what. Because we obey Him.
“If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” (1 John 1:8-9 NLT)
“But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.” (0: 1 John 1:7 NLT)
So, have you seriously thought about the Coronavirus yet? Think about it; then get right with God!
Dear Lord God,
We are Your people, and are completely in Your hands—in this and every moment of life. Help me always remember that, “Since…[I] have been raised to new life with Christ, [I must] set…[my] sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. [Help me] Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For…[I] died to this life, and…[my] real life is hidden with Christ in God. And [that] when Christ, who is…[my] life, is revealed to the whole world…[I] will share in all his glory.” (Colossians 3:1-4 NLT) Amen.