Night has come into our lives with the arrival of the coronavirus. Our whole world has been changed. Empty streets, supermarkets without essential products. Graduations canceled, schools closed. Churches have closed their doors and moved to a digital service. A call for isolation has been made from government authority. There are rumors in many states of activating the National Guard. In my 50 years of life, I have never experienced a crisis like the one we are experiencing today. What does tomorrow have in store for us? Will the dawn return before the darkness continues to overwhelm our being?
In the face of so much gloom, our natural reaction is to activate our brain’s defense system against fear and the prevailing insecurity. Anxiety (a feeling of concern or uneasiness), fear, uncertainty, anger, and sadness are common feelings that we sometimes experience when facing a crisis. They are normal responses to the crisis and stresses we are experiencing.
Questions we must ask ourselves are, how does the Christian live in a crisis that threatens our existence? How do we survive this threat of annihilation by such a devastating virus? How will the human story end? In this article, we are going to discover by the grace of God how to live in the midst of the coronavirus’ threat.
Recognize that God is in control
The secret to surviving the threat of the coronavirus is to recognize that God is in control. How can I recognize that God is in control when pain and suffering overwhelm my being? If God is in control, why doesn’t He do something to quell the fury of the coronavirus? It just seems that God has turned His back to this problem. These could be some of the questions that you may have in your hearts.
There are two attitudes you can take when you have problems: The first is to recognize that God is in control and praise God saying: “God, I do not understand what is happening, I have lost everything, I see everything dark in my life, but despite these adverse circumstances that the coronavirus has brought, I know that you know what to do and you are in control.”
The second attitude you can take is to pull your hair out by developing a toxic spirit. When you opt for this negative attitude, you are simply saying to God: “You don’t know how to manage my life” and you begin to walk down a path that cements a destiny of failures and mental illness. The Bible states: “For God is the king of all the earth …” Ps. 47: 7. Thus, we see that God is the Sovereign King of the entire earth, everything that happens is allowed by the King. He is still the God of the Universe in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
God is not the originator of the coronavirus, God is not the originator of death, or of the pain you may be experiencing right now. You must understand the context of the world in which you live. You live in a world of sinfulness. Our first parents had the opportunity to live happily ever after, but they decided to throw away all the good that God had given them for their well-being by simply eating the forbidden fruit. We know the rest of the story, Adam and Eve disobeyed and sin entered this world and therefore eternal death. Today we are reaping the neglect of our first parents.
Many people have argued the following, why did not God intervene when Eve was going to take the forbidden fruit? God had the power to intervene, but He has given us free will. He does not want us to serve him out of fear, but out of love, that is why He gives us the freedom to choose what we want for our life. Today we experience pain, death, and anguish because that was the choice of our first parents. It was not God’s choice.
The good news in all this tragedy is that even though human beings disobeyed, God had a plan B, the plan of salvation already drawn up before man came into existence because God was in control as the King of Universe and the last word is God. There is sin, death, pain, and the coronavirus in our world, but God’s plan is to put an end to all this odyssey and take us back to the heavenly home. The problems that overwhelm us today come from three sources. The first is the sin of a world that is mortally wounded. The second is the sinful actions of people who are by our side. Third, the sin that lives in us that leads us to make mistakes and commit sinful acts.
God is in control and has the last word against sin in this world. He tells us: there is pain, death and misery, but I will give you eternal life. Are there people who have committed sinful actions against you? Have your rights been violated? Have you been sexually, physically, or emotionally abused? Have you been abused, slandered, or hurt? God can take all those destructive actions and change them into an eternal blessing for your life.
Look at the case of Joseph and his brothers. They took Joseph, threw him in a cistern, sold him as a slave, falsely accused him, and he ended up in prison. From all that that crisis, God took him out to become the second in the largest empire in the world at that time. God used everything negative that had happened to his life for his growth and emotional well-being, training him to be used powerfully in His cause, and to lead him to transcend his limits. God can also take everything negative that has happened to you and use it powerfully to transform your life into a stepping stone for His kingdom.
Many believe that Satan is the one who is in charge of this world, especially now that we are threatened by the coronavirus. Satan is not in charge. God is above Satan and he has to ask God for permission to touch your life with the coronavirus. You remember the story of Job. God said to Satan, “You have seen my servant Job, fearful and set apart from evil.” And Satan said to him, “Yes, he serves you because you have a protective fence around him. Let me touch it and you will see how it curses you.” God allowed it. Satan destroyed everything that Job had, destroyed his health, his reputation. But Job loved God so much that he never stopped recognizing that God was in control and in his pain said: “Naked I came, naked I will return to my mother’s womb, may the name of Jehovah be blessed” Job 1:21.
God has a protective fence around his children. The coronavirus will not be able to touch your home unless God allows it as it did in the case of Job. Therefore, instead of fainting in the face of the disorders that the coronavirus is causing, get up and trust God, who is in control of your life.
Romans 8:28 says the following: “And we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good, that is, those who are called according to his purpose.” God has a perfect plan for your life. Perhaps we look at the circumstances that surround us in the face of the coronavirus and we think that we will remain immobile forever in a place of darkness and pain. The more we ask and cry out to God for help, then the more the depressing circumstances of this crisis seem to be piling up.
However, there is good news for your soul. Nothing can harm a Christian unless our Lord allows it. And everything that is allowed helps for those who love God. If God allows sufferings and perplexities to overtake us, it is not to destroy us but to refine and sanctify us.
The difficulties and disappointments of this life make us lose our attachment to this world and compel us to look at heaven as our home. They teach us the truth about our fragile and perishable condition, and make us depend on God for support and salvation. They also develop a more humble and submissive spirit in us, a more patient and tender disposition.
This has been experienced by the children of God throughout history, and at the end of their lives, they have been able to say that they were afflicted for their good. This truth is reflected in the life of Joseph. Before he died, Joseph said to his brothers: “You thought evil against me, but God directed it to good” (Gen. 50:20). The coronavirus may bring calamity and death to your life, but God will one day take care of transforming pain into eternal blessing.
I challenge you that instead of pulling your hair out of fear for the coronavirus, you begin to trust a God who is in control of your life. A God who will not allow even a hair on your head to fall without His consent. I cannot explain how God works his miracles because if I could understand and explain my God, He would not be my God. What I can explain is that no matter what damage the coronavirus may bring, the last word will not be with this evil virus. The last word will be heard from the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. He who has the keys of Hades and says to you: “To the one who overcomes I will give him/her to sit with me on my throne.” Your destiny is with the God of the Universe. Get up from your ashes of fear and anxiety because your final victory has already been won on the Cross of Calvary.