This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.
Over the course of the run this virus panic has had in America, I have mostly sat back and observed without saying much about what has transpired. I have listened as experts on both sides of the issue have given their reasons why they believe they are right and the other side’s reasons are inaccurate. I have listened as people have admonished me to just believe the science, then I listened as those same people seem to ignore the science that contradicts their science. As a Christian, however, I have primarily listened to what the Church is saying and watched how the Church is acting. As a minister of the Lord, it hasn’t all been pretty to observe.
First, the devil loves to see the Church get into strife. He can simply sit back and watch us devour one another. We shouldn’t be name-calling simply because we disagree – and we shouldn’t be using the Bible to try and wound each other. Making decisions during difficult times is not an exact science. Sincere people do their best to follow the leading of the Lord. It is easy to criticize – and easy to find company to help the endeavor. It takes spiritually-minded people to swim against the current and pray for those with whom they disagree. I believe Christians should stop for a minute and consider some of our recent actions toward each other. Whether we agree or not with a specific decision, let’s try to remember that we are all on the same team. We should keep our disagreements “in-house” and not give the world extra ammunition to try and stifle the message of the Gospel.
I also feel we should evaluate our reaction to the virus that knocked on our door. Aside from arguing about rights and laws, the main problem I observed in the Church was how ill prepared we were for the fear that was thrown at our feet. I heard and read more about sanitizer, masks, hand-washing and social distancing than I heard the Word of God. Every kid in America should now have no problem knowing the length of two yard sticks! This is not a condemnation, but I hope it is a wake-up call. This will not be the last time we face turmoil in America. In fact, precedents have been set in how our leaders deal with these types of issues. This panic is nearly behind us. The question now becomes, “What are we going to do in order to spiritually prepare ourselves for the next panic that is thrust upon us?” I can’t answer for you, but I know that this situation has caused my wife and me to do some self-evaluation. We have increased our time with the Lord and in the Word. I will do everything I can to prepare myself and those whom God has entrusted to my spiritual care. The Church needs to stand up and say, “No more fear – not on our watch!” Take a few minutes to really ponder these verses from Psalm 91. Then, take it a step further and speak them … every day. Allow them to feel at home in your heart – until they become second nature to you.
Psalm 91:2-3, 6-7 (New Living Translation)
This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. For he will rescue (me) from every trap and protect (me) from deadly disease. (I) do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at (my) side, though ten thousand are dying around (me), these evils will not touch (me).