Without a doubt, we are living in a great period of uncertainty and change. "Social Distancing," "shelter-in-place," "self-quarantine," "presumptive positive test results," "ventilator beds," and the closing of almost all places of social contact are the watchwords of the day. Just as with the 9-11 terrorist attack, we have discovered just how quickly our "normal" lives can be turned upside down—and for an unknown period of time. Just as with the 9-11 event, fear, panic, and hysteria are setting in, as we face what appears to be an uncertain future. And, as though the world’s largest snowstorm/blizzard is about to cover the nation, our fears and panic are being played out in grocery stores and convenience stores across the country, even though our food supply is currently safe and abundant. Fear and panic bring with it irrational behavior. (People are even stealing the toilet paper and paper towels out of all public restrooms!)
Never is the need as strong as it is now for Jesus—and I don’t mean that in a flippant sense. The Bible tells us that Jesus never changes; Hebrews 13:8, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Now more than ever, we need to anchor ourselves in Jesus; let him calm the troubled seas around you; and, more importantly, let him show you how you can serve him by meeting the needs of others. This great period of turmoil is an opportunity for the followers of Jesus across the country to unite and bring Jesus to a lost and dying world.
We do not know what the immediate future holds for us, but God does; none of this is a surprise to him. Clearly, we need to be prudent; e.g., hand washing, using sanitizers, avoiding large crowds—all of the common-sense instruction that we have been hearing for weeks. Many of us, like Sherrie and I, are sheltering in place. Considering our age and other factors, the practical thing is to stay as healthy as we can by staying home and avoiding most outside contact. That will be the case for many of you as well; but that doesn’t stop us from using our social media tools to stay in touch with others. And it doesn’t stop us from praying or using our additional time at home to read and study God’s Holy Word; or to reach out to our family and friends.
In spite of the panic, and frankly, the mass hysteria; we do need to be smart. None of us needs another virus threatening our health, nor do any of us want to be the person spreading it around. Having said that, God is still in control. He will not only bring us through this, but He will be with us as we move forward into what are certainly going to be differently-lived lives after this has passed.
In the meantime, let’s take advantage of our time at home, grow closer to our savior Jesus Christ, and reach out in search of how we can help others—and in doing so, spread the Gospel.
Sherrie and I are praying for a quick recovery for anyone feeling ill, and for the safety of all of those around us; we encourage you to do the same.