Everyone is sick of the coronavirus. We’re tired of quarantining, annoyed with social distancing and bothered by masks. Many of us have missed family gatherings, vacations and are unable to attend church.
Listen, pandemics stink. Everyone knows this. They are deadly and disruptive. No one would vote for a pandemic. No one wants this to linger on. So we wait. Not so patiently, and sometimes agitated, still we wait. In so doing, what should our response be in this time before a herd immunity takes effect or a vaccine is introduced or Jesus returns (whichever comes first)?
I don’t know much about pandemics. I am not an immunologist. I’m a local theologian. As such I can write, with confidence: God Almighty did not send this awful mess. Not to teach us a lesson. Not to punish us for sinful behavior. Not to get us to look to Him. The Author of Life does not send instruments of death. The Enemy brings death. The Enemy lies about God Almighty’s involvement in evil, deadly schemes. The Enemy’s tactics are not that complicated — muddy the waters and get people to think a loving God would indiscriminately kill men, women and children via a virus. The Enemy invented Fake News, especially as it relates to God Almighty.
God didn’t send it, but God will use it. Redeeming horrible conditions are His specialty! This is not the first difficult situation people have faced when God intervened. For example:
Once there was a young man who had questionable taste in clothing and even worse luck in brothers (You can pick your nose, but not your family). Those rotten siblings tossed him in a pit; told his dad the kid was dead; and sold him into slavery. He runs into more trouble with the boss’s wife, lands in jail and it looks like the end of the story will be a bad one. But it’s not the end of his story. In a quick turn of events, the man not only gets out of the slammer but ends up as the world’s leading authority during a global famine. Dr. Fauci has nothing on this cat. The best line in the whole story is when those lousy brothers come to him begging for grain, and he testified: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:20). Long story short: Joseph forgave his brothers, gave them grain and eventually the famine came to an end.
God Almighty is not a one-hit wonder. There are plenty of other examples throughout history of His undefeated performances in impossible situations. Here’s a look at the scoreboard in just a few instances of God’s involvement:
Kid with a Sling shot 1
Young Hebrew men 3
Fiery furnace 0
Huge crowd 5,000
Empty bellies 0
And best of all (duh!)
Given God’s remarkable history of tackling impossible, horrible situations and turning them into His glory– why would we ever think that God Almighty couldn’t do it again? Let’s not moan and groan about our minor inconveniences, while so many are struggling. Let’s pray for wisdom and ask for some holy creativity. Maybe we should view our current circumstance as an opportunity to tell nervous people about the Prince of Peace. Maybe this can be the time to love our neighbors like never before. Instead of boo-hooing about what we can’t do in a pandemic, what if the Church of Jesus Christ looked our coronavirus enemy in the eye and said, “You intended to harm us, but God intended to use this situation for His glory, the saving of many lives.”
We all agree pandemics stink but never forget, God wins! He is and forever will be the Undefeated, Undisputed Champion!