The COVID-19 pandemic has raised theological questions—understandably so. People are asking, “Are we now seeing signs that the world as we know it is about to end? Is this horrible virus punishment by the Almighty? Is there anything we can do?”
In the Woods
No doubt—we are facing a very serious situation. Many people have lost their lives. There are hopeful signs that in some places that the number of cases of coronavirus is leveling out, but we’re definitely not out of the woods yet.
I don’t know how COVID-19 has impacted you, your family, or other other important people in your life. For most of us, we’re anxious and fearful as we wonder how long this pandemic will last and what will be the ultimate impact on lives and on the economy. For many, present circumstances represent a giant inconvenience. We hate losing our freedom to move around as we please. We want “normal” back.
The situation gets more serious for others, and it’s far more than an inconvenience. It’s the loss of a job or business along with the myriad of consequences that follow. I could list many more negative impacts, but you get the point.
Tragically, death has struck a blow across our nation, and we yet don’t know what the full extent of the loss of life will be. Just recently, my daughter who works in the medical field related sad news about her medical assistant, Susan (name changed). Susan’s husband contracted coronavirus and they placed him in intensive care on a ventilator. She was subsequently tested for coronavirus and came up positive and ordered to quarantine herself at home. A couple of days later she was notified that her husband was near death. Try as she did, she was not permitted to visit her husband of over 50 years before he died. She remains isolated in her home. I don’t yet know how funeral arrangements will be handled.
Susan’s situation is not the only one. I’m certain there are other stories like it.
Leaders across our nation, starting with our President, have been working 24/7. The governmental sector now seems to be teaming with the private sector to combat this situation. Personally, I’ve been encouraged by evidences of unity—we’re working together. We’re learning a lot.
This doesn’t dismiss the numerous questions for which we don’t have the answers. In the theological realm, I’ve been amused by some of the articles written by so-called “theological experts.” Using a football metaphor, a few of them are “outrunning their coverage”, meaning that they’re speaking about things which they really don’t know. Admittedly, though, everyone is entitled to an opinion.
A number of years ago, I called a fellow military chaplain who had recently lost his 30-year-old daughter to brain cancer. We spoke for a few minutes and I tried to be careful not to “outrun my coverage” in speculating why his daughter had died at such an early age. After a few minutes I asked him if he was struggling with the “why” of his situation. His answer was profound: “Scott, at times like this I’ve found it most helpful not to focus on things I don’t know. Instead, I focus on what I do know.” Our conversation immediately shifted to some things about God that we do know.
Why did my chaplain friend’s daughter die so young? Why did Susan’s husband contract coronavirus and die before she was able to see him while he was still alive? I don’t know.
But I do know some things—about God, His love, his mercy, and his care for us. I’ve printed out Psalm 121 in its entirety. Please read it carefully. Meditate on what it is saying to you—personally.
Psalm 121:1-8 (ESV)
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?
2 My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
8 The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.
A Few Thoughts
- Look around at creation. God is the Creator of all of it. He cares for His creation. Most importantly, He cares about you.
- God never sleeps—never. He’s always watching, watching over you. Even it your foot slips, He knows it.
- The Lord has charge over your life. Like shade from the sun, God is your Cover, your Rock, your Fortress, your strong Tower.
- He protects you during the day and all through the night.
- God is the Keeper of your life. You will live all the days ordained for your life. Evil will not take you before that time.
- God will watch over you—whether you’re coming in or going out. He will do this today, tomorrow, next month, next year, and forevermore.
How do I know this is true? Because Jesus gave His life for you and for me. His invitation to spend eternity with Him is extended to every person.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (ESV)
My prayer is that you have accepted Jesus’s invitation to spend eternity with Him. If not, I urge you to give this your most serious consideration. Eternity is a very long time.
Accepting Jesus into your heart has many advantages in this life—far more than this article can possibly cover. But there is one blessing I can’t resist mentioning. It’s about peace, something I think we’re all looking for at this time.
God Has Your Back
Admittedly, keeping eternal perspective is difficult, particularly with COVID-19 occupying most of thoughts, our time, and our efforts. We’re focused on the now, tomorrow, and the near future.
Once again, the words of Jesus:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27 (ESV)
May you rest in the peace that only Jesus can provide. God has your back.