How are you doing? I’m really asking. This whole Coronavirus thing is quite unnerving, if we are honest. I spent a season of my life afraid of sickness and it was such a deep-seated fear that it would bring on an anxiety attack if one of my family members just said they didn’t feel good. It was a scary, crazy time. So if you’re struggling against fear, anxiety and panic, I understand.
The media is seemingly thriving on spreading panic, too. It’s important to stay in the know but it’s also important to get your information from quality sources and be kind to yourself. Stay away from your triggers.
I was praying over this virus and my family the other day and God blessed me with some perspective that brought peace to my soul. If you need a fresh perspective, I’d encourage you to take some time and read through the book of Job, especially the beginning and the end. The Lord reminded me of the truths of His character that are revealed in the book.
First, we learn that God is in control. As I prayed, God reminded me that He is in total control over everything. In the beginning of Job a conversation between God and Satan is recorded for us. Satan was only permitted to go so far in his attack on Job. God said Satan could do certain things but nothing else. Absolutely nothing happens, good or bad, without it God bringing it about or allowing it. And everything has a purpose. Nothing is wasted in the hand of our Heavenly Father.
Second, we learn that God is sovereign. At the end of Job, after the conversations between Job and his friends and Job questioning God, God answers. Three glorious chapters displaying God’s power and might are left for us as God shows Job just how small and powerless he really is. In God’s response, He tells Job that he’s the one in control of the tides and how far the water advances. He reminds Job that He set the world in place and had His hand in everything of nature.
Third, we learn that God cares. Despite God’s power and might, he took the time to respond to Job and set the record straight. He didn’t leave Job to wonder if he was being punished for some wrongs he had done. He healed Job and doubly restored everything that was taken from him.
This Coronavirus? It’s under the control of the Almighty. Even as a tool in the hand of the devil, it has limits. God has the sovereign authority to say how much damage it can do and we can be sure He will use it for His purposes. Nothing is wasted in the hands of our Heavenly Father. It’s already beginning to bring about a renewed interest in Christianity.
In times like this, we need to keep our eyes on Jesus. “How?” you might be asking. What does that even mean? Keeping our eyes on Jesus means that we focus on God’s character rather than the troubles around us. It’s important to replace the panic thoughts with things that scripture instructs us to think about, taking every thought captive to Christ.
So when fear starts to send it’s icy tentacles up and down your spine, remember who’s in control. Replace the what-if’s with thoughts of God’s character. Read through God’s response in Job 38-43 and write one or two verses showcasing God’s sovereign power down to replace those what-if thoughts.
My favorite one is Job 38: 8-11:
Who shut in the sea with doors,
When it burst forth and issued from the womb;
When I made the clouds its garment,
And thick darkness its swaddling band;
When I fixed My limit for it,
And set bars and doors;
When I said,
‘This far you may come, but no farther,
And here your proud waves must stop!’
Our God is the one in charge and he is the conductor, if you will, of all of nature. God gives us that beautiful imagery in Job of Him creating and directing the natural processes of the oceans, sunrise, storms, and weather. God further reminds Job that he knows and cares for the animals in profound ways.
This Coronavirus is still within God’s sovereign control. If nothing else we can pray and thank God for that truth when we feel overwhelmed by all this.
When the panic thoughts start to bombard your thoughts, stop and pray for the advancement of the gospel and an awakening of God’s truth for your country, city or town. Ask God to bring about his will and His purposes from this pandemic. Even this will not be wasted in the hands of our Father who cares for us.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 6 that our Father cares for us even more than the lilies of the field and the birds of the air so he will surely provide for us like He provides for them. That’s a promise we can hang on to in these uncertain times.
I’m praying that you have a peace that passes understanding in these crazy upside-down times and if you don’t that God will bring comfort to your soul.