Pandemic: Be Calm During the Storm
“And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?””Matthew 8:23–27 (ESV)
We are living in a time that is certainly not the norm that we are used to, but is this unprecedented? If it is unprecedented, then is it totally unique or should our actions and emotions be similar to any other catastrophic event? The new Coronavirus that has spread globally, Covid-19, has caused over 13,000 deaths and over 300,000 illnesses. This is something that is affecting nearly every person in some manner, but is fear appropriate? Perhaps more importantly, is fear ever appropriate?
If we trust in the sovereignty of the Lord, which we do, then I suggest that fear is not appropriate. At the same time, we should not disregard actions to preserve life such as “social distancing.” We can learn from Jesus’ concern in the boat that He knew there was no reason to fear the storm for He was aware of the Father’s plan for His life. He knew it was not the time for His death. Instead, we can see that the storm was a trial for the disciples so that their faith may be tested. Jesus, with His sovereign control over all, controlled the storm and used it as a teaching moment regarding faith.
While we may not know what tomorrow holds for us, we do know our destination as a Christian. Our future hope lies in Jesus Christ, who died for our sins. Through Him, we are promised to be raised up on the last day, to live eternally with the Lord in Heaven. If we know our eternal destination, then what is there to fear in the future? It is in our certainty of salvation that we have a present peace.
“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”1 Peter 5:10 (ESV)
Yes, times can be difficult, but this suffering shall pass. Our lives on Earth are but a blink in the grandeur of our eternal lives with the Lord. To a lesser extent, but commonly more frequent, many if not most of us experience monetary difficulties that we trust the Lord’s provision in. This burden may become more widespread as Covid-19 removes many of us from work for the sake of slowing the spread. Others may become sick, so medical bills will come in the mail and that’s on top of the inability to work for weeks. As if this was not enough to drive one crazy, the world economy may slow so that goods are no longer available and we may lose our retirement funds due to a tumbling stock market or even through the devaluation of currencies.
At this point, even my heart is beginning to beat faster and harder, but there is only the tip of the iceberg. Medical facilities may become overwhelmed, preventing the treatment of the sick. Food production may slow to a crawl and infrastructure may crumble because of disrepair in this tumultuous time. Despite this, I urge you to not fear! This suffering is but for a short while, and we will be restored by the grace of the Lord. You already know how the story ends, so what is there to fear in the middle of it? Yes, I have sympathy for the troubles that we all shall experience, but is that justification for us to stop trusting the Lord for His provision and ultimately eternal life?
I urge you to not sin through disregarding the life the Lord has given us. Do not take actions that cause you to endanger others, but instead, do what you can to ensure others are safe and provided for. We are to love our neighbor (Mark 12:31), so live your lives as such. It is not loving to needlessly risk other’s health for the sake of vain pleasure. Similarly, to disregard your own health is to sin against the Lord. If God gave us the gift of life, how foolish are we to live in a way to put it in danger? If a child is given a gift, is it not disrespectful to the giver of the gift to destroy it? How much more disrespect do we show to the Creator of life if we treat it as something to disregard.
Many people are indeed showing respect for life by taking measures to protect the elderly and immune-compromised. This type of concern is something demonstrating how to love our neighbor, but how much more important that we show the same love for the unborn, who are but at the beginning of life. I pray that this concern for those near the end of life is expanded for these little ones that so many commit hatred upon.
“Be to me a rock of refuge, to which I may continually come; you have given the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man. For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth. Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you.”Psalm 71:3–6 (ESV)
The church has survived many pandemics like Covid-19. In fact, some were much worse, like the Black Death that killed 75 million deaths in Europe in the 14th Century. In 1918, the church saw the Spanish Flu ravage the world population, yet we are still here today. I will not say we should not have some concern, because we have a duty to both ourselves and others, but we shall not live in fear. Trust upon the Lord for his provision and protection. We will get through this together, all the whilst praising the Lord. If not, I’ll see you in Heaven, and we will praise the Lord! No matter what happens, we can have everlasting joy because of Jesus Christ, so that we may praise the Lord. I pray everybody will remain in good health, or recover quickly. God bless you all.
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