Don't Panic, but There's a Pandemic

We’re all looking for some emotional, practical and spiritual guidance right about now… hopefully this helps :)

I don’t know about you but this reminds me way too much of all the dystopian books I read through my teen years and now they’re coming back to haunt me. (“The 5th Wave” in particular, anyone else??) Obviously fear is our first gut reaction toward a situation like this because of all the unknown, risk and hype.

What if I get the virus? What if I die? How close is it to me? It’s everywhere and inescapable! My grandparents are going to die. If they shut down schools and people stop going into work and stop traveling then the economy will crash and life will never be the same and education will be destroyed and we’ll have to grow our own food and I’ll never get married and have to live in isolation for the rest of my life and-- 

Woah girl.

Deep breaths.

These are all the thoughts running rampant through my brain and it’s really easy to let them drive my motives and my actions at a time like this. Either that or pretend like nothing is wrong and go about life exactly as you normally would, it’ll all blow over! Neither of which are the right choice in my opinion.

So what do we do? 

The first place any of us should be looking in times like this is to the Bible. David, Paul, Jesus and countless other people in scripture faced many trials in their life, most were more life threatening and altering than this virus… yet they knew that if their trust was in the Lord, they had nothing to fear. Now did that mean nothing bad would ever happen to them? No, lots of “bad” stuff happened to them. But first, the story wasn’t about them it was about God and bringing him glory. And second, worst case scenario, they die and get to be with him so win-win, right? 

Here are a few scriptures that I have found helpful and encouraging:

Psalm 91 (read the whole chapter but here are verses 5-6, 9-10)
You will not fear the terror of the night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
    nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—
    the Most High, who is my refuge 
no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
    no plague come near your tent.

John 14:27
 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Psalm 34:4
I sought the Lord, and he answered me
    and delivered me from all my fears.

What do these verses teach us? That the world should not dictate the state of our peace. And when we are under the Lord’s covering we are safe. He is our deliverer and defender. How do we know we are under the Lord’s covering? I listened to an awesome teaching the other day on Psalm 91. The speaker said that she dove into the verses that talk about God having feathers and wings (vs 4) because she found that confusing. Digging deeper she discovered that David was probably describing the arc of the covenant.

This was a Holy vessel used to transport the 10 commandments and other holy objects. Above the arc are two cherubim (angel-like creatures) pointing their wings together. She pointed out that if you are under God’s covering and protection you have to be standing right in between those two cherubim… and what is between the cherubim? The 10 commandments. I’m probably paraphrasing and butchering her awesome teaching, but the point remains the same. If you are actively loving the Lord your God by keeping his commandments as it says in John 14:15, then you are under God’s shield. The great thing about God is that he is always victorious. He already defeated death, what have we to fear? 

But what about the practical side? Aren’t we still supposed to be smart and safe and try to stay healthy? Yes of course! I live with my grandparents, all of whom have health issues that make them particularly susceptible to this virus, which can be very scary to think about. I wonder if I will be the one that accidently carries it to them and then their death will be my fault… These are big things to be afraid of and they sound so reasonable!

My reminder to myself is this: they are in God’s hands.

It’s seriously that simple. So I’m going to do my best by doing all the practical stuff like washing my hands, disinfecting surfaces, don’t go public crowded places very often, covering my coughs and being smart about what events I say yes to, and the rest is up to God. 

Our God is great, he is good and he is glorious. Worthy of our praise, trust and faith. With him we cannot fail and have no reason to fear. Hallelujah.

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