Let’s talk about COVID-19 or the Wuhan flu. What should the Christian response be? Certainly, it should not be fear or panic nor should we be suspicious or view this with disdain. I have to admit that I tend to view this as if we are burning the ship to save the passengers. However, I’m wondering if this crisis isn’t more about God’s divine hand in using something bad to slow people down a bit and make us focus on what is really important. What is important is knowing God and loving people, and the present distress gives us an opportunity to do both.
We are in slowdown mode! No school, no church service. Staying home more. What a great opportunity for families to just be families again and spend time together. What a great time for dads to step up and lead their families spiritually. What a great time to memorize some Scripture together. What a great time go for a walk as a family. The outdoors are not off limits, get out and enjoy God’s creation. What an opportunity to read some good books and more importantly The Good Book! What a great opportunity to take some real time in prayer. So dear Christian, don’t brood over what you can’t do, rather rejoice in what you can!
The second aspect of this is how we can respond to our neighbors.
Franklin Graham posted this on social media a couple of days ago. I think it is an excellent point of view: Many years ago, the great writer and theologian A.W. Tozer made this profound statement, “A scared world needs a fearless church.” That is so true. During this time with the coronavirus, fear is gripping the hearts of people around the world. There is a mountain of anxiety and alarm, and it is still building. It is as real as the virus itself—but it is treatable. There are people in need that we can reach out to help. Like a fireman runs to the fire, the church needs to respond to crises around us. We who are the church need to stand up and be the hands and feet of the Lord Jesus Christ. During these days of less group activity and gatherings, we could all take time to call and check on the elderly or others who are alone. Maybe you could offer to drop off some food or necessities they might need. Talking with someone on the phone, listening to what they are going through, and most importantly, praying with them, could change not only their day, but their entire outlook. We need to share the “reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15). Jesus Christ is our hope, our anchor, our comfort, and our peace. Let’s share His love with as many people as we can, making every day count. Christians, God can use you. The virus isn’t the only thing that’s contagious. What if we had an outbreak of people helping people and a sweeping eruption of prayer?
We can be the hands and feet of Jesus here and now. We just need to see the opportunities.
I was encouraged by this passage this morning: 1 Peter 1:3-9, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.