I took the above pictures on a trip to Moab (right) with friends a few years back. I thought it would be funny to take a picture that looked precarious and show it to Yolanda. The reality is that where that crack in the rock was (that I had to step over to get out further on the rock) could have given way and I would not be typing this blog for you now and Yolanda would be collecting life insurance on me. The image on the left is a foolish picture on a rock overhanging the Grand Canyon a few years back, thinking I was really cute. Not realizing that if even one strong gust of wind and I lost my footing that I would have had a quick trip to the bottom of the canyon with a sudden stop. Not wise.
I have been watching with amazement the hysteria building around the coronavirus situation and people throwing punches over toilet paper, companies running out of hand sanitizer and medical masks flying off store shelves like Willy Wonka chocolate bars in the movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I have seen friends and strangers post on social media saying that the end is nigh and you need to stock up on everything you can and barricade yourself in your house to people posting joke after joke not taking the situation seriously at all. To the normal observer, what is the correct course of action? And for a person who has faith in Jesus what is the proper balance of being prepared and thinking that nothing will even come of this virus business?
Well I have a few simple thoughts that I think can help us walk through this situation with wisdom and grace while helping people around us stay calm.
1 – True security in life is just an illusion
This can sounds like a “defeatist” statement to start a blog, but thinking that you can do things to prevent EVERYTHING bad from happening to you our your family is simply untrue. We can operate in wisdom in life and not put ourselves in places of intentional harm (like me and my “cliff pics”), but once we realize that we cannot truly prevent every bad thing from happening in life we come to the conclusion that it is better to trust in God than to trust ourselves.
I know that when I went through my health situation I had feelings of being out of control when it came to my health and it was a very unnerving thing. I thought I was doing everything right in my life to prevent bad things from happening to me and that was just not true. Essentially, sickness in my life was an interruption to my perfectly manicured religious life serving God when it was actually an incredibly important character-shaping opportunity that I made inexplicably worse by worrying. I forgot that the only true security we have in this life is Jesus, even though we can fool ourselves into thinking that if we only do “X, Y, and Z” that we can stop those things from happening. Trust in Jesus is not a prevention of adversity but a protection of our minds and hearts when going through storms.
2 – Non-Christians will be watching Christians react to this situation
Many times we forget that people who do not have a relationship with Jesus will watch how people who call themselves followers of Christ will react to situations like we are seeing around the world with the COVID-19 virus.
As a follower of Christ, I want people to see where I put my hope and not just what I react to while I am on this earth. I think we need to be wise and listen to those in medical authority that give instructions and warnings but I am not going to base my life on the fear that moves man when I have a hope in a God that knows my future just as much as I can see my now and reflect on my past.
Also never forget that the Bible is the perfect guidebook showing us how to walk in knowledge and wisdom and not just live recklessly and expect to have a “Jesus force field” around us while we test his protection. That would be walking in foolishness, which is not how we are called to conduct ourselves as an example of Christ to the world. People who don’t know God will probably not read the Bible but they will always “read” you when they know you follow him.
3 – It is always good to be prepared for trouble and also not acting ignorantly
I am firm believer in preparing for disasters and times of trouble. I have a 2 month supply of dehydrated food and water bricks to be able to use if disaster strikes because we can have a decent balance of wisdom and faith in God keeping us (as the old Christian hymn says…safe and secure from all alarms…leaning on the everlasting arms) and being practically prepared for adverse situations in life. I am also not acting ignorantly by going around proverbially “licking people’s faces” (haha) and inviting disease and sickness into my home or on me.
We need to be practically prepared for things that can happen but also not oblivious to how those things can affect us.
4 – People’s reactions can be signs that they are ready to receive Jesus!
The reactions to people cleaning out Costcos and Walmarts of toilet paper, hand sanitizer and surgical masks is proof that deep down, people who do not know Jesus as their anchor and compass in life have a deep rooted fear in death and disease. They can go about their daily lives suppressing those emotions with the pursuits of life but when push comes to shove (literally fist fights over keister-wiping material) they are just scared little kids doing what they can to survive as long as they can on this earth because this is all they think they have is now. As a believer and follower of Christ, we have the answer to that fear; an enteral hope in Jesus and his eternal protection for our lives. It is not a guarantee that trouble will not hit on this earth because as I mentioned earlier, there is no real cure for evil. BUT there is a security in knowing a God that can keep you through the struggles of life and help you not just barely get by but to live an overcoming life! When we see people’s fearful reaction to what is happening around us we need to ask the Holy Spirit to give us intersections into people’s lives to help bring TRUE peace. Peace that the Bible says “passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).
5 - (Most Importantly) We need to be praying
How many of us have prayed for the coronavirus situation in our world? And if we have prayed about it, have we prayed more than just “please Lord, don’t let it happen to me or my family”? We have access to real authoritative power in Jesus who can do much more than we could ever ask, dream or think not only in our lives but the lives of those around us. If someone has paralyzing fear of this virus outbreak then the virus is already affecting them without having even one symptom of the disease. This is the REAL threat to people; a fear of the unknown.
Today, ask God to give you balance in how you will not react to the situations like the COVID-19 virus but to ACT OUT in Godliness to show the world who you trust and where your hope stands. My hope is in the creator of the universe and not 12 boxes of surgical masks, 52 gallons of hand sanitizer and 100 rolls of the finest toilet paper money can buy.
2 verses for you to stand on
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil. For you are with me. Your rod and your staff they comfort me.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from ALL my fears.
Praying for God’s best for you and an infusion of his power and peace to flood you so that it overflows to the people around you.
At Rocky Mountain CTN our mission is focused on empowering viewers to discover a fulfilled life by providing relevant media that connects people to God and community to change our culture. This blog is made up of thoughts to start that change.
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