***Author’s Note: This post expresses one woman’s opinion. It is in no way a condemnation for individuals who differ in position. Understanding this virus is a complicated and serious issue, I have tried to thoughtfully consider the different angles COVID-19 presents as well as potential repercussions. My bigger desire is to point the reader to Christ in the midst of uncertain chaos.
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff they comfort me.” -Psalm 23:4
The human life is a contradiction: We are fragile but resilient. It is nothing of ourselves that makes us this way. That is to say, sometimes a freak accident paralyzes a man or a car wreck takes a young girl’s life. But sometimes a horrible accident leads to complete recovery. Sometimes a car wreck grotesquely twists the heap of machinery, yet the stupefied driver emerges with mere scratches. It seems arbitrary when really the mercy of God is at play. Something may seem senseless to us because we can’t see past the end of this sentence. We don’t know the future much less can we control it. But God not only knows all of human history, He is Sovereign over it. Jesus proclaimed, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End” (Revelation 21:6).
Our nation and the world has been gripped by fear with COVID-19. Cases are increasing and the promise of a vaccine looks like pie crust right now. Yet I wonder how many believers are glued more to the latest headline rather than pouring over the Word of God? What is shaping our thinking? The news anchor or God? Who are we listening to and why?
I cried when I heard masks were to be forced on the general public for the foreseeable future. The acceptance of this new mandate without question, or even considering the invasion of our personal freedom grieved me. I am concerned that many of us operate in the here and now with tunnel vision, not thinking of the bigger picture these restrictions may have.
Because of this crisis America is governed by public fear, causing possible overstep from authorities in decision-making. It has enabled our government to dictate what is essential (and what is non-essential) , where we go and even what we wear. This sets a precedent for what our leaders can do in the future. Once a policy is set in motion it is a lot harder to reverse. Every decision the government makes on behalf of its people has consequences, good or bad. Take this into consideration as well. Fear can drive us to readily obey without discernment.
We are not guaranteed a vaccine for COVID19 will ever be developed. For some diseases in our world there is no cure. What if we just have to live with it? Are we willing to wear masks in perpetual tension and fear indefinitely? I hope I’m wrong but this might be the leak that breaks the dam in government control over our civil liberties.
My desire is not to act foolishly, nor become an alarmist. The possibility I could get sick or someone I love makes this personal for me too. Yet there has to be an objective look at what is happening underneath the crisis. It is a real virus that I want to take seriously, yet not allow my emotional response acting as the head. Fear is power that can be used by whomever is in control. That is a fact, whether or not you believe our authorities are abusing their power in this case or not. When the masses are afraid of sickness and dying (and I am not disputing that they are), leaders can take advantage of the situation easily bending your will to their agenda.
We need wisdom right now. God’s people have to be discerning. I’m okay with peaceably disagreeing on this issue as long as fear is not your motivation. It is not a cavalier attitude but a deep-seated trust in God actively at work. This might be His judgment. We might be like Daniel in Babylon. But we still can find our strength in the One who never grows tired or weary. God is still on His Throne.
Many people are very willing to do almost anything they think might protect them from COVID-19 when faced with their own mortality. Of course no one wants to die, but for the unbeliever this is especially unsettling. May I point you to the One who can give you temporal and eternal peace? God loved this world so much that He sent His only Son to die for us. We no longer have to live in fear or condemnation because Christ has overcome the world. He tells us to be still and trust in Him. It doesn’t mean we throw away common sense. Practice basic hygiene, stay home if you feel sick, avoid close contact with others who are sick. However, understand these measures are not your ultimate security and hope.
For every son and daughter of our Lord, He is with you, through His wonderful Comforter, the Holy Spirit. God has also given us His Word which feeds our souls, guiding us in wisdom. Take comfort in this truth and be at peace.
Grace upon grace,