Coronavirus. COVID-19. The Rona. Whatever you call it, it is here and all of our lives will forever be impacted because of it. Maybe your social media timelines look a lot like mine: a mixture of TikTok videos, Corona memes, Netflix suggestion requests, Psalm 91 and lots of advice about how to survive homeschooling your kids for the next few weeks. Oh, and pictures/videos from people out and about “living their best life” because they refuse to let anything get in the way of a good time. Maybe you know someone living la vida loca right now. Maybe you wish you were one of them. Whether you’re prepared for doomsday or bargaining for toilet paper, here are three ways to keep the faith as we pray for better days.
Many believers are using their faith card to justify their decision to keep living as though the world isn’t currently experiencing a deadly pandemic. It is not an act of faithlessness to use wisdom and discernment in the choices you make. In fact, Proverbs 27:12 encourages us to change course when we see danger coming our way and considers it foolish to continue living as if danger wasn’t imminent. You can wash your hands more frequently and be washed in the water of the Word. You can keep your distance and keep the faith. You can see a doctor and still believe God is a healer! There is nothing inherently faithless about taking precautions and being prepared. Use wisdom, exercise discernment and above all…KEEP PRAYING!
You may not be among the most vulnerable to this disease and may very well be strong, healthy and able to easily recover if you were infected, but the Christian lifestyle is one of sacrifice. Philippians 2:4, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” This is a perfect time to put your neighbor’s interest above your own. And remember your neighbor isn’t just the person next door. It’s the immunocompromised kid who can’t afford to have resources diverted away to other needy patients. It’s the elderly man living in the retirement community around the corner. It’s the parent who can only buy WIC labeled items so they need you not to hoard them. It’s the nurse staying in a hotel instead of at home because she doesn’t want to put her family at risk. These people need you to put their interests above your own. Christ commands us to love these people like He loved us. In John 15 He explicitly tells us, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus laid down His life for you. Can you put yours on pause for Him?
I’ve been hesitant to share this blog for almost a week now because I couldn’t think of a gentle way to say what I’m about to say next. Then I saw an article about an entire family being infected with the COVID-19 disease, half of which have died while the others are still fighting for their lives. So I say this with all the love in the world: God will let you die. There will undoubtedly be some Christians counted in the number of deaths from COVID-19 and some of them will, unfortunately, have been completely preventable. We live in the natural, fallen world governed by the laws that God allowed. If you throw something into the air it will fall to the ground because of the law of gravity. And if too many people don’t treat this virus with the severity it demands, more people will die because of math and science. This is not about lacking faith or not trusting God. This is about the law of foolishness. God will let your foolishness take you out. Look at the story of Nabal (whose name literally means ‘fool’) and Abigail in 1 Samuel 25. Spoiler alert: Nabal is dead at the end of the chapter. We don’t have to make the same mistake. We must use wisdom, discernment and common sense. God gifted us with all three for a reason.
Ultimately, my prayer is that during this season of crisis we grow in God and all the things He has prepared for us, yes even in a time like this. Stay socially distant, but spiritually connected.
Yours in Prayer and Pedagogy,