There is so much fear, so much uncertainty right now in the midst of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Every day the news is worse. The chaos is akin to that of a world war: no person and no aspect of life have been left unaffected. It likely has many of us wondering, “Where is God in all this? Won’t he do something?”
When Jesus and his disciples decided to cross a lake one night, a strong storm came out of nowhere. The waves were so high that water began filling the boat. Jesus was asleep in the back of the boat, and the disciples frantically woke Jesus, saying, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” Jesus got up and said to the storm, “Silence! Be still!” The storm stopped, and there was only calm left. Jesus looked to his disciples and said, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Matthew 8:23-27, Mark 4:35-41, Luke 8:22-25)
Every time I find myself wondering what God’s plan for this pandemic could possibly be, all I hear him telling me is, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” The disciples knew Jesus was a powerful man. They had seen him heal the sick and perform miracles, so they knew he would likely have something up his sleeve regarding this storm. When he didn’t react as quickly as they would have liked, they panicked and defaulted to questioning his heart. (“...don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”) In the scripture, after Jesus’ response, we see that the disciples were terrified (Mark 4:41) realizing just how powerful Jesus was, having stopped a storm with his verbal command. They never anticipated he would save them this way, with such a display of authority and power. This tells me that we simply do not know more than Jesus, and we will never fully grasp his unlimited power. And trying to suggest to him how we think he should fix this problem is only showing our lack of faith in him. His plan is so much better than anything we could come up with.
As I type this, I want to say that while I fully believe Jesus has a plan for this coronavirus, I understand that this has and will continue to impact people’s lives. People are suffering, dying, losing family members. The economy is at a free fall. Jesus sees all of this. “Don’t you care that we are suffering, losing our health, our finances, our toilet paper?” (Sorry, had to.) His response, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
In Romans 5, Paul writes, “3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” As counterintuitive as it seems, we can be grateful in our suffering. It is in our suffering that we often feel the closest to God.
“...Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
The other day, I asked you to pray a bold prayer with me, and I think we should continue to pray this:
God, I pray for healing and for a cessation of this pandemic. I pray for those in leadership positions who are making decisions right now. Guide them to make the right choices. God, only you have the power to stop this, to take this away and halt it right this second. I am praying a bold prayer, in Jesus’ name, that you put an end to this, and that not another single person suffers. But God, if this is not your plan, I pray we can find peace and joy amongst all of the fear. And I pray that we don’t forget who you are, that you are GOOD. You take what the enemy meant for evil, and you turn it for good. I know you are in this, God. You are not looking away. You are right with us. You see the fear. Remove it, God. You didn’t create us to be fearful. Above all, we love you, God. And we are resting dependently on you. Amen.
🎵”There's power in the mighty name of Jesus.
Every war He wages He will win.
I'm not backing down from any giant
'Cause I know how this story ends.
Yes, I know how this story ends
I'm gonna see a victory
I'm gonna see a victory
For the battle belongs to You, Lord.”🎵
(See a Victory- Elevation Worship)
A.j. is a wife and SAHM, an eager follower of Jesus, and a chronically loud-laugher. She loves finding new ways to look at the Bible, in hopes to grow closer to Jesus and to find fresh ways to learn and teach others.
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