I’m traveling on the mainland this week, but with the increase in surgical-mask wearers, I thought I was in Asia rather than the US. There weren’t a ton of masks, but enough to remind that the spread of COVID-19 is quite serious.
Of course, there are a lot of speculations, theories, and unknowns about this virus, which can cause us to feel uncertain, and even fearful.
This is why the words “dread” and “tempest” in the above proverbs jumped out at me this morning. After reading these verses they got me thinking about how believers can face the unknowns of this virus. Here are some thoughts:
There are two people mentioned in the above verses: the Wicked and the Righteous. So which one are you? Notice how there’s no intermediate answer such as, “Well, I’m kinda good, but not all the time, but pretty good.” That’s how I tend to answer this question because “wicked” seems too harsh and “righteous” seems too arrogant.
This is why we need to remember that in Christ we ARE righteous, “not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith.” (Phil. 3:9)
It got me thinking that when the “dread” and “tempest” of events such as the coronavirus happen, may it point us to the good news of our right standing before God in Christ. This is our ultimate security.
The deaths associated with this virus remind us that life in this world is fragile and short. The sting of death reminds us of our vulnerability, and that death is our great enemy. Of course, no one wants to die from this virus; in fact, no one wants to die, period. Preservation of life is as natural as breathing.
What’s remarkable is God gives us our desire for life by promising that the righteous are established forever! Wow!
It’s those who bank on their own righteousness who will ultimately get what they fear the most – losing their life. Outside of Christ no one can survive the “tempest” of God’s wrath and judgment. Does this mean Christians won’t get sick? Of course not. What it means is our view of life isn’t limited to this world.
Fear and dread don’t belong to us. Therefore, in a world that especially dreads death, may we boldly proclaim Christ, our Living Hope.
My last thought is let’s pray for protection. Ask God to protect you and others from this virus, because He can. Ask God to protect you and “deliver you from the deadly pestilence.” (Ps. 91) The very act of prayer admits our weakness and vulnerability.
It pleases the Father when we go to Him and ask. So ask, no shame.
And then rest that every prayer reaches the throne room of Heaven, and rest that God answers perfectly according to His will.
So yes, wash your hands, don’t dig your nose, buy toilet paper, and maybe even wear a mask. But above all, let’s pray the current tempest passes.
Keep pressing on,
p.s. If anyone needs toilet paper, I found the stash.