Good Morning precious sisters in God!
He has the whole world in His hands! Praise God for who He is! He is Creator, Sustainer, and our Rock.
Here is a wonderful song that my husband has introduced me to. I have been singing the chorus a lot lately.
Covid 19 has rocked the world. It has shaken that which we felt stable. It shows us how much for granted we take normal interaction, gathering at church, or going out to eat. March 5th I was watching the news and it was talking of Japan and things closing down there due to the spread of the novel coronavirus originating out of China. I paid little attention — it was a “problem over there.” But I thought of a former exchange student who lives in Japan. So I emailed her asking her how she was and saying I had heard of the coronavirus. She wrote back that she’d been sent home from college, had no idea when graduation would be, or what was next, and she was just sitting at home. She then said she hoped I and my family were well also as she heard “it” was in the U.S. too. Well maybe in a very minor way, I thought.
At staff meeting later that week, a co-worker came in with hand sanitizer and wouldn’t sit by anyone, and seemed overly anxious about the coronavirus and Italy’s death rate. I had not paid a lot of attention to the news. I knew enough, but not enough. I leaned to the other extreme of indifference. Neither were good. That weekend my parents came, and it was just starting to become a problem. Mom and I had a women’s retreat that was still going on, though other things were closing. We went. We were blessed. Sunday came and Sunday school was cancelled but the service was still on, and people over 70 were asked to stay home. My 70ish parents who were in town for the weekend came to church, just as always. A man at our church spoke of some statistics. Fear begin to overwhelmingly fill me. I had moved slowly from indifference to acceptance with peace. But for some reason while he spoke dread filled me. Filled me. I teared up, I snuggled into Brad just as the man was saying how serious he was that if you could touch someone you were way too close. Thankfully after he spoke another woman immediately spoke the words of Psalm 23 – “Yay though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we will fear no evil!” I struggled all morning through that service with fighting fear, and speaking the Truth of Scripture over in my mind. I didn’t pay attention to much else of the sermon.
That was the 15th. Since then many of the people I support have been temporarily laid off, I’ve been asked to do more work remotely, businesses and schools have closed, I’ve struggled to get enough hours at work, and finally yesterday I was told that I too would be sent on furlough. The last two and a half weeks, I’ve been more intentional than ever to not look at the news much. I’ve purposely found out the facts of what is happening via sources like the CDC – only when I wanted to look. I’ve worked the stats to discover that while the death toll sounds like astronomical amounts that it is roughly 5% that die from getting this. That sounds easier to digest than the actual death toll numbers. I’ve faced the rising fear that has reared it’s head when I see too much news. But through it all, I’ve also found Psalm 46, and this podcast series on this Psalm to be sources of great peace and solace.
My quiet time lately has me journeying through Jeremiah. Jeremiah warned of coming destruction and spoke of God wanting His people to turn back, to follow Him, to repent of their ways. Throughout the book though, the phrase comes, “Yet they would not listen.”
Dr. Youseff, a pastor who I believe preaches solid Biblical wisdom, spoke of things that are global problems, like COVID 19, and how this might be something God wants to use to get the attention of the world. I think I agree with this, as in Jeremiah disease, famine, and sword were things that God warned were coming on the people because they were insisting on turning their backs on God.
Dear sisters, I do believe that God is reminding believers that He is God alone. We, even believers, put our hope and trust in so many things that are not God. This is a world wide problem, but what about the little things that are happening in your life? About a month ago I wrote in my journal, “Would I really ‘rather have Jesus than silver or gold, than riches untold, than anything this world affords today’?” And the thing is, sometimes I want what the world offers. I was writing that in my journal because of a small problem in my personal life. I had to ask myself if Jesus is enough. Oh, I say He is. But do I live that way? It made me think.
How about you? Would you rather have Jesus? God is giving us all a chance to think of His power and of dependence on Him alone. We can’t depend on wealth, material things, government, work, or any other temporary thing. Praise God for His mercy. One day Jesus will return. One day God will bring judgment on the world. Things like the coronavirus are just foreshadows of that final day of destruction, when all who have rejected Jesus as Christ will perish. Oh precious sisters – press on to know God and make Him known. He alone can not be shaken. He alone holds the world in His hand. He alone can speak one little word “Enough” to stop this pandemic in it’s path. And if He doesn’t, and chooses to let it continue to run its course — He must have a reason! He is Sovereign and trustworthy! Press on — even during this pandemic!