I have never seen such widespread fear in our nation, except perhaps after 9/11.
The coronavirus is causing people to be constantly checking the news, to practice “social distancing,” to be washing their hands more than ever, to wear face masks, and to be running to stores to stock up on toilet paper and food and everything else they will need in case we’re “locked down” for several weeks.
There is nothing wrong with doing these things. But for believers in Jesus, the coronavirus can be a good reminder to focus on the Lord and his word. We can be tempted to focus on fear. But Jesus doesn’t want us to do that. Here are some things I have been reminded of by the coronavirus. I hope they will encourage you…
The coronavirus can remind us that we are frail and fragile
This is humbling. We like to feel like we are strong and invincible. But we are mere flesh and blood. Any one of us could be in the hospital later today. It is good to be reminded of how much we need the Lord to protect us and help and sustain us. If you have physical strength and good health it is a blessing from the Lord. Along these lines…
The coronavirus can remind us that we are powerless
Our government is powerless. Our army is powerless. We can’t stop this virus. We can take precautions, but there’s nothing we can really do but wait it out. We must wait for God, the One who is all-powerful, the one who upholds the universe by the word of his power, to stop this. And speaking of power…
The coronavirus can remind us that God is the only one in absolute control
God could stop this pandemic in one second if he wanted to. He can protect us. God is more powerful than all the diseases in the world put together. God is infinite in his power. Nothing is too hard for him. He can stop wars. He can hurl Satan and his demons into hell. We aren’t in control of a single thing in our lives. But God is, and he invites us to come to him for help and protection and peace.
The coronavirus can remind us that God is all-knowing
God knew when and where this outbreak would start, and how far it will spread. He wasn’t taken by surprise by this. He knows when it will end. God knows the beginning and the end of history. He knows every single person, and every single thought, word and deed they have done and will ever do. He knows you and me and everything we need. He knows how to protect us and help us and provide for us.
The coronavirus can remind us that we are all going to die someday
I’m not being morose or downcast. I’m not an Eeyore. But it is really helpful to remember that this life is temporary. This world is temporary. Every single day of our lives is a gift from God. Every beat of our heart, every breath we breathe are gifts from God. God’s word tells us…
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12
Many writers say that one thing to consider as you set goals or plan your life is to think “What would I like people to say about me at my funeral?” Remembering that our life is temporary and our days are numbered can give us a “heart of wisdom.”
The coronavirus can remind us that we should look to our God for help
To keep our eyes on him. We should pray to him and ask him to protect us and provide for us. We should put our trust in him and look to him to give us peace. Our loving Father invites us time and time again to run to him for help and to bring him all our concerns.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7
The coronavirus can remind us that we should look to our God for joy
This world is fading away. Someday there will be no cities, no highways, no stores, no theaters, no golf courses or restaurants. All the wonders and beauties and joys of this world are gifts from God, but they should point us to the giver of every good gift. We should make God our treasure.
The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. Psalm 16:5-6
The Lord is our “chosen portion” and our “cup.” He is our treasure. He is our “beautiful inheritance.” Only the Lord can satisfy us. This current crisis is a good reminder that this world can never permanently satisfy us.
The coronavirus can remind us to look forward to heaven
We should be looking forward to the day when Jesus will wipe away every tear from our eyes. When we will no longer be tempted to fear. To the time we will never have to be concerned again about our needs, our health, our loved ones. To the day we will gaze upon the infinitely beautiful face of our Savior.
The coronavirus can remind us that we must wait for the Lord
It’s hard to wait. I don’t like waiting in traffic, or in long lines in the grocery store. And if I have to basically stay in my home for the next 2 months, it is going to be hard for me. I want it all, I want it all, l want it all, and I want it now, to quote Queen. But this can be an opportunity for me to wait on the Lord. To grow in patience. To pray. To trust him for his perfect timing to end this thing.
The coronavirus can remind us of what is really important
Our eternal salvation. Our relationship with the Lord. Our relationships with our loved ones. Bearing fruit for God. Fearing him and loving him and living for him.
The coronavirus can remind us of how blessed we are and have been
All the years of health we have enjoyed. All the years we have not had to face things like this. All the days we have walked out into the sunshine or swung by the store for a snack. All the times we went to sporting events to watch our kids. And a thousand other blessings God has showered upon us in our lives.
The coronavirus can remind us that we should be thankful for God‘s protection and mercy
That we should be thankful for God‘s protection and mercy. We should be thankful for every day keeps us safe from this danger. I so often take God’s protection for granted. Every time I drive somewhere. Every night I go to sleep. Every day I enjoy life and safety is a gift from God.
The coronavirus can remind us to be grateful we have roofs over our heads and places to live
That those of us who have homes or apartments should be grateful we have places to stay even though we may feel we are in a kind of lockdown for the next few weeks. There are millions of homeless people in the world who would be thankful if they even had a tent to live in. And we are tempted to grumble because we have to stay in our homes for a couple weeks with our TVs and microwaves and internet and running water and light and heat.
The coronavirus can remind us to pray that God will bring his kingdom on earth
To ask him to save multitudes in all the nations. Think of the thousands who have died from this virus who never called upon the Lord. Or who never even heard the gospel. Let us pray that the Lord will send out laborers and ask the Lord to give us opportunities to share the gospel too.
Let’s pray that the Lord will end this virus, that he will heal and protect multitudes and protect our nation and others, and that he will give us grace to trust him and rejoice always, to not grumble and complain, but to be thankful for all the ways he has blessed and kept us in our lives.