Today’s headlines along with subtitles:
- “Rewriting History” – China reframes coronavirus narrative, touting Xi’s successes despite body count, global spread
- “Troubling Results” – Nursing home sees nearly 50 employees test positive for virus
- “Rocket Attack” – New barrage hits base housing US troops in Iraq
- “Containing Coronavirus?” – Why have these countries got so few, or no, COVID-19 cases?
- “Helping Hand” – Here’s how to soothe rough, cracked fingers from overwashing
The truth is, without a microscope, you can’t see the “bug” causing disruption around the globe. But it’s there, … and here, … and seemingly everywhere. The ubiquitous nature of this ugly “bug” is disconcerting at best, and at its worst frighteningly paralyzing bringing death to some.
Now I would ask you, even as you read these words:
“Is God really in Control? Is He in control of even this virus? Does HE know what it looks like? Can He control how much farther this thing spreads or how many more die?”
It is exactly at times like these that our faith in Jesus Christ, as LORD of all, is so important.
The CDC, and other health organizations have given us specific kinds of activities to help mitigate getting this virus in the first place. We’re told to wash our hands regularly, get tested if we feel sick, and create social distance from others who might at this moment be contagious. All these are good, and are not “should-do” but “must-do” things we CAN control in our daily lives.
That said, how do you deal with the growing emotional unease and irrational fear that has permeated almost every town and village around the globe? I’m not saying the virus isn’t dangerous. If only one person had died from this it would be classified as dangerous. What makes the situation so bad is the unseen nature of the germ.
It reminds me of a story out of the Old Testament.
In 2 Kings 6, Elisha is being pursued by the king of Aram with a huge army of horses and chariots encircling the city of Dothan. Elisha and his servant were completely surrounded and it was only a matter of time before the king would capture, then kill them. The servant is afraid and asks Elisha, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?”
Elisha’s answer in this story holds an ancient truth:
Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.
[2 Kings 6:16]
What we need to remember and focus on right here, right now, March 14, 2020 is this;
you can’t see it – but God is STILL in Control.
Elisha prayed these words,
“O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” [2 Kings 6:17]
And God did. God opened the servant’s eyes to unseen spiritual forces under direct command of the LORD of the Hosts of Heaven. Elisha’s servant saw the whole mountain full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
God was protecting Elisha and Elisha’s servant the whole time.
Can you even imagine the scene? Thousands upon thousands of holy angels preventing the sudden demise of God’s prophet, is an awe-filled thought.
I don’t pretend COVID-19 does not exist. I’m not trivializing the danger people across the world are in from this agent of sickness and death.
In the same way, I’m also not trivializing what God can do to solve this problem that mankind will never be able to do.
From His throne in heaven, God is able to speak a holy word of healing, and this virus could be stopped in a single moment.
The caveat, what we don’t know, is God’s purpose for first allowing the virus to exist, or second, what design and plan God has for its existence that will bring God glory.
We don’t know, and we can’t know. We can only react to what is happening right around us, in real time, right now.
So may I offer a couple of suggestions?
First, men and women of God, true Christ-followers will not panic or become fearful, or act in irrational or illogical ways, because they KNOW like Elisha knew, that God is in Control.
Second, men and women of God, true Christ-followers will seek God’s face and favor, asking Him to intervene once again in the lives of humans all round the world, and maybe even someone you know, who needs His healing and salvation from this virus today.
Third, men and women of God, true Christ-followers, will seek God’s wisdom in these days of uncertainty, and live out a life of faith in ways that bring the God in Control, all the glory He deserves.
I believe God is in Control.
I am praying now for each of you and your families protection by the hosts of heaven.
I am praying for our world that fewer still will die, or be exposed to this virus.
I am praying for rational responses from people all over the world, and for God to give them courage, and not fear, to face whatever is in their lives this moment.
What are you praying for?
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