Well, I certainly never saw the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic coming, nor its US/world economic consequences, nor shortages of supplies, and especially not the social distancing/self-isolation required as a responsible response to the virus threat that may be coming. Who ever thought churches would close services due to a disease threat? Etc. I am reminded of something my very first pastor taught me when I was new at following Christ at age 29. It was on the topic of worry/anxiety–which God commands his followers to avoid and replace with trust in God. He said something to this effect, “It isn’t the thing you are likely to worry about that is likely to really happen in your life, it will be some other unknown, invisible thing that will hit you. So what good is your worrying?” That stuck with me through all these years.
I sometimes experience “anxiety” mood shifts. Thankfully, these shifts in the way my brain thinks and works don’t happen very often. When they do, they are completely illogical and it is a general “panic” over I don’t even know what–not about anything specific that I could worry about. Believe me there is a long list of concerns on my heart that I could dwell on and worry about if I wanted to. I choose to pray for God’s help with those things instead of worrying about them. But when my brain and body shift into generalized “anxiety” that I can’t control, I just have to hang on to faith in Christ and exercise great self-discipline in controlling my thoughts and meditations and wait for the brain sickness to shift. Thankfully, God always helps me through those times. I am thankful that right now, as we see unprecedented world “craziness” happening around us, that my mood by God’s grace is stable and strong. Now that a real threat and real concerns have come, God is helping me respond with trust in Him and His sovereign control over all things. God did the same thing for me as I walked through a recent tough time with a loved one’s health issues. He made me strong to face it. God does the same thing for me in my own chronic health issues. I hope and pray if things get worse God will enable me by His grace to continue to trust Him. God has promised me in the Bible that He will. He has not promised I will not endure hard things; He has promised He will walk with me in those hard things He allows or even causes in my life. (See Isaiah 43.)
An invisible virus has upset our country, our world. It is questionable perhaps how much truth is really being told us by the media. Perhaps the statistics and concerns are not as bad as we are hearing, or perhaps the virus is much worse than we know. I don’t know. God knows. How bad will the economy get? Will we lose our life savings? Will necessary supplies become unavailable? I don’t know. God knows. Perhaps God wants me to learn to appreciate all the prosperity, provision and blessings He has given me through these uncertainties. Since I don’t know, I will simply follow God’s Word, the Bible, which says to obey my government and church leaders unless they are trying to make me do something against God. So I will follow the recommendations for limiting face-to-face meetings with people as much as possible. I will try to remain faithful to encourage and help others as much as I can.
Just as I want to be responsible in handling the invisible monster of the COVID-19 virus, I realize there is a greater invisible monster bearing down on all people. I am amazed how few people are willing to consider their eternal destiny, even in hard times like these. Sin is the most horrible disease of all time that has separated people from God. A real invisible enemy, satan, who hates God and hates people is out to deceive you. It is the invisible monster of denial that there is a God or that you need Him that is most to be feared. It is the invisible arrogant thought that there are many truths, not only one truth in the Bible given by God. It is the ridiculous thought that a higher power may have set our world and lives in motion, but He has left us alone to our own devices and our own versions of truth. It is the illogical assumption that the Bible is full of error, is fable and myths, and is not God’s Word. Many people in my sphere are being arrogant against God and even mocking God. Many are just in denial. It breaks my heart. I know people tend to think I am a broken record on talking about Christ and the importance of being ready for eternity. Why do I do it? Because I love people and God commands his followers to declare His truth and share the best good news we have been given. Especially the people in my sphere that I actually have the privilege of knowing and loving. It is my responsibility as a believer in Christ, called by God for the purpose of declaring His excellencies, to share the good news of Christ. Long story short, all sinners need God’s forgiveness for sin, and that is found through Christ’s atoning sacrifice alone. And it is time for Christ followers to press in to Christ like never before.
So I will leave you with these two thoughts as we all try to cope with the invisible enemy of the coronavirus or who knows what else that may hit us. One: go outside and breath some air and really, really look at nature. The designs of nature, trees, flowers, a human being, you name it, demand there is a Creator God. Ask God to speak to you through nature if He is out there and I believe my merciful God will meet you in that heart cry. Two: Search your heart; don’t you sense how wrong death is, how there is something inside your soul that knows you are eternal, and that must live forever and that you were never meant to be separated from your loved ones by death? You are an eternal soul made by a good, trustworthy, all-powerful Creator God. I implore you to please be ready for a good eternal destiny instead of a horrible, unthinkable one, through the way God has prescribed: Jesus Christ.
Read the gospel of John which was written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Cry out to God for mercy to be able to understand it. Be in touch for help or information on how to know God personally and how to study the Bible to find out God’s truth if desired. I am here for you… trying to make the best use of my time under these circumstances. And I am praying and ask God now to help me pray more faithfully than ever. Oh American Universal Church: let’s use our time wisely to cry out to God for mercy upon our world.
Lastly, fellow Christ believers, we have nothing to fear since our eternal destiny is secured for us. Unbelievers have everything to fear.
Luke 12:4-6 English Standard Version (ESV)
Have No Fear
4 “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. 5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God.