At the present time, there is a clear and present danger in our neighborhoods. The Corona Virus has come to town, and a high degree of danger abounds. This enemy is somewhat coy, it is very contagious, and it is proving to be especially harmful for those elderly and compromised in their health.
Therefore, how should we respond in this day of trouble? As Christians, what ought we to do?
First, we should walk wisely. We should listen carefully to information from reputable physicians, doctors, scientists, and governmental leaders. Then, we should put into practice that which we have learned. God has given us a noggin; we should use it.
Second, we should walk faithfully. We should trust the Lord to guide us through our present experience and wait for him to flex his arm and bring us out on the other side – whether that “other side” be earthly or heavenly. Yes, we should live by faith, and we should give no place to fear, anxiety, doubt, or distrust.
There is no doubt about it, this is what we ought to do!
However, who amongst us always does that which we ought to do? The biblical answer is, “No one.” There is no one born of Adam who is perfectly righteous. There is no one who always walk wisely. And there is no one who always has peaceful confidence in our mysterious God. All of us struggle to believe as we ought. All of us are prone to doubt, disbelief, and faithless fear. We worry about …
- Contracting the virus
- Spreading the virus to our elderly friends and family
- Governmental abuse
- Continuing education
- Missing events
- Mental scarring
- Running out of food, medicine, and toilet paper
- Economic recession
And this is on top of all the other things we worry about …
- Job performance
- Dysfunctional marriage
- Paying the bills
- Failing health
- Aging parents
- Perpetual loneliness
- Prodigal children
- Addictive behaviors
- National elections
Therefore, let us use some of our free time and joyfully repent. Let’s take a moment to list our fears, read a scripture passage, and “have a little talk with Jesus.” Right now, as we battle our fears, let’s be encouraged by the timeless words of Psalm 23:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 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. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Let’s meditate on the Sovereign LORD. He is all-present, all-wise, and all-powerful. He created the world with his words. He flooded the earth with his decree. He raises up pharaohs, kings, governments, and nations in accordance with his plan. He then humbles and harms them when it is time to execute his holy justice. He is the one who makes rich and makes poor. He gives and he takes away. He answers to no one and always does that which is right and best. This is the one true God, and he is LORD of the virus.
Let us muse on the fact that the Sovereign LORD is our Shepherd. He created us in his image, and then seeing our sinful rebellion, redeemed and recreated us in the perfect image of his Son. He gathers us into his fold. He adopts us into his family. He betroths us to himself. Yes, the Sovereign Lord, he is our God, and we are his people. He loves us with an unusual, unmeasurable, unbelievable, unfathomable, and unchangeable love.
Let us rehearse how our Shepherd promises to give us all we need. He knows the passion we now have to worship him. He is aware of how we long to see his name proclaimed and his kingdom built. And he knows how best to utilize us as priests in his ministry. Therefore, though we never get everything we selfishly want, we always get that which we absolutely need. Jesus soothes our head and restores our soul. He guides and defends us. He is the one who answers our prayer and gives us our daily bread. Jesus is our Great Shepherd. He is our fantastic leader, and because of his affection we lack nothing — spiritually, emotionally, physically, and relationally. Today, Jesus is giving us all we need to worship and thrive in him and for him, and this includes “love, joy, and peace.” (Gal. 5)
Therefore, while meditating with him about him, we should find ourselves lessening in anxiety. Yes, as we commune with him, we should more and more be able to say, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I fear no evil.” Jesus is the one who …
- Ordained and allowed the Corona Virus
- Governs every molecule in his universe
- Determines the exact places where men dwell
- Determines the exact number of a man’s days
- Determines who will remain virus free, who will be cured, and who will be taken home
- Grants the medical community the cure as he deems best
- Does with our nation that which is right
Therefore, today, if we picnic with him on green grass next to still water, we should have no fear for our Shepherd has led us there and is presently with us.
And today, if we find that he has prepared a table for us in the very presence of our Corona Virus enemies, we still can have no fear. Jesus is Sovereign, and he is right at hand.
And today, if we find ourselves or someone we love contracting the virus, even then we can rest in God’s sovereign plan. What will be will be, and that will be best. Jesus is the Great Physician; defeating his virus is an easy thing for him to do. He has already allowed for such over and over again. Even then we ought not fear.
And today, if we find ourselves or someone we love taken down, even then we can rejoice for we have this promise, “Goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our life, and then we shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
PRAYER FOR THE DAY: Lord, we understand this is what your Word says. Lord, we believe this to be true. However, Lord, we are struggling to rest in the truth that is found in your Word and in our head. Our head believes you, but our heart struggles. May you meet us today so that our proclamation, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want” is more than merely the hopeful cry of our heart. May we find ourselves so content in you that we can state with Paul, “I have learned to be content in any and every situation … I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Father, help us disbelieve the lies of Satan and our flesh. Help us to believe and rest in the sweet promises that come from your loving heart. Help us to trust you, our Great Shepherd, and help us not to fear.