In light of the coronavirus outbreak, we’ve all learned how contagious we are.
We’ve been reminded multiple times a day to wash our hands because what we touch matters.
We’ve been told to practice social distancing and if possible, to avoid others completely, because our presence matters.
For good or for bad we are contagious. We’ve seen firsthand that chaos is contagious but the opposite is also true, calm is contagious. As God’s children, my prayer is that our hope in Jesus will spread to a lost world faster than any virus can. Romans 8:28 reminds us that God is able to turn all things around for good, not some things but ALL things. Knowing this, may we confidently pray that what the enemy intended for harm, will instead be used for good, for the saving of many souls who desperately need a hearty vaccination of truth.
The vaccination the world needs is Jesus. The reality of the coronavirus disruption should motivate us like never before to share the good news of the gospel while we still can. We’ve seen how our world has changed almost overnight and how quickly things can go from bad to worse. Since that’s the case, let’s be bold and diligent in warning people to wash their hands the Biblical way, as much as we are about warning people to wash their hands with soap and water.
“…Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.” - James 4:7-10
I believe the quarantine and social distancing the world is experiencing is an example of God’s patience – it’s as if God has sent us to our rooms to think about a few things! He doesn’t want us to have divided hearts, so with that in mind, ask yourself if someone or something has replaced Him in your life? Is it sports, entertainment, money, celebrities, your children, your job, your hobbies, social media, sleep, your friends…? God longs to give His children good gifts but not at the expense of having the gifts replace Him. Only He is worthy of our worship and only He can save eternally. As we’ve seen, the idols in our life can be taken away in an instant. The answer to all of our problems is to humble ourselves before God, turn from our sins, and trust Jesus alone to save us. Psalm 51:17 tells us,
“The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.”
In His goodness, God wounds temporarily so that He can heal eternally, if we let Him.
THE WORLD IS WATCHING
As Christians, we need to understand that what we do matters more than what we say. I can guarantee the world is watching how we respond in this dark season. Are we anxious, scared, and panicking or do we have His peace that surpasses understanding as we trust in Him? The coronavirus has many people feeling anxious and focused on fear. May we be confident and focused on Him understanding that our faith honors God. We aren’t exempt from the difficulties the world provides in abundance but we can rest knowing that God is in control. Psalm 91 gently reminds us that we can take refuge under the shadow of His wings. The visual of hiding under a wing illustrates that darkness doesn’t change the reality of God’s presence. Therefore, the darkness shouldn’t scare us but instead remind us of the nearness of our God.
During challenging times, we should be encouraged to know that we are being trained to trust Him. It’s easy to say, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13) while sitting in the comfort of our homes, reading our Bibles and drinking coffee but the real test comes when life hits us hard and we have to live out our faith in spite of pain and difficulty. Only then do we realize how weak we are. When we come to the end of ourselves, we understand that we can do nothing without Him, but through His strength we can do all things. God never wastes our tears and uses dark seasons to strengthen our faith. I pray that our peace in the midst of the storms of life attracts the lost and our light guides them to Jesus.
A CHOICE TO MAKE
The coronavirus has given us empirical data that chaos and confusion are highly contagious. With that in mind, let’s remember that bringing order out of chaos and light out of darkness was one of God’s first actions while creating the universe. As His children, let’s represent Him well by displaying His peace by remaining calm in the midst of confusion. Let’s lead by example by proving that faith and fear cannot co-exist because one cancels the other out. May our faith in Him be more contagious than any virus the world has ever known.
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. For He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.” Psalm 91:1-3
Jennifer McAlister is an author, graphic designer, and founder of Witness Thru Fitness – a ministry created to encourage and inspire others to be active in their faith. As an author, her devotionals are featured in Bible.com and Shout! Outdoor Living Magazine. Her passion includes empowering young women to make healthy, life-affirming decisions as a counselor at a pregnancy center.