If you need toilet paper, paper towels or a medical mask, now is not the time to go shopping is it? And seriously……… who bought the last box of Macaroni and Cheese from Wal-Mart? How rude! As of this morning 3/16/20 (7:30 a.m.), there have been 3,802 people diagnosed with coronavirus and 69 deaths in the U.S.1 In the immediate area where I live (near St. Louis) gatherings of over 50 people have been banned until April 3rd.2 This not only includes social gatherings, but schools as well. In fact, so far 26 school districts have already announced closure in the St. Louis area until at least April 3rd.3 With over 173,000 cases worldwide so far and nearly 7,000 deaths, people are truly afraid to catch this virus and with good reason. Now is the time for believers to live out their worldview in regards to trusting God and his plan for their life and the lives of their children. All of those sermons, books, podcasts and articles about trusting God “when the chips are down” that we have fed our minds through the years must be activated now during a serious time of uneasiness.
Your kids are watching you
How are you handling the headline alerts that are hitting your phones right now? Does your stomach get butterflies and you panic? How are you responding in front of your children? Have you and your family given in to the fear, or are you praying together every single day for the people who have coronavirus to be healed and for God to use this to bring the lost to faith in the gospel? If you aren’t praying together, why not? This is a great opportunity to cry out to God as a family for a spiritually lost and dying world. If you don’t have a habit of family worship times at home, now is a great time to initiate this practice. I know having your kids home for an extended period of time will require thought, logistics and sacrifices. Think of this time as a gift for to turn your children toward the things of God. Talk about the brevity of life and the need for each one of us to concentrate on the task that Christ has set before us of living our life for HIM.
DON’T give in to fear
II Timothy 1:7 says, “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” Paul exemplified this belief when writing while on house arrest in Rome. In the letter to the Philippians, he said, “for me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Do you believe that to die would be gain? Do you believe that to be in the presence of Jesus is better than anything that this world has to offer? Before his murder in Ecuador by the very people he went to witness to, Jim Elliott wrote in his journal, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain that which he can never lose.” Elliott gave his earthly life in the preaching of the gospel, knowing that his eternity was sealed in heaven. James 4:14 says that this life when compared to eternity is simply a “vapor.” Let’s not live like we know that truth. Let’s live like we BELIEVE that truth. Take precautions, be wise, avoid large groups, but don’t give in to fear. God is in control.
Let’s get serious about our Faith
On February 17, 2020, I read an article about the murder of 24 Christians by a terrorist group at a church in Burkina Faso. Has the fear of death stopped the church in Burkina Faso? Think again. The love of Jesus and the promise of eternity has manifested in a collective spirit of resilience in the face of terrorism. All of us should be teaching our children that God has a course of obedience for us to run. Simply, preserving our lives should not be our end goal (we can’t anyway). Living a life in obedience to Christ’s calling while we have breath in our lungs should be our hearts desire. May God bless and protect your families during this pandemic.
“But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.”
Scriptures taken from the NASB and ESV translations of the bible