“It matters little what I think about the coronavirus—or about anything else, for that matter. But it matters forever what God thinks. He is not silent about what he thinks. Scarcely a page in the Bible is irrelevant for this crisis. My voice is grass. God’s voice is granite.” – John Piper.
Bob is naturally optimistic. People in his small group all say that he has a sunny take on nearly everything. His enthusiasm for life is contagious. But in this strange, uncertain season we are experiencing as the coronavirus continues to afflict countries around the world, Bob has found himself in the grips of real fear.
One night, in particular, Bob was watching some experts lay out the worst-case scenario projection right before he went to bed and found he couldn’t sleep. Bob tossed and turned, got up read his Bible and prayed, but could not escape the anxiety and worry for the future caused by COVID-19. In times like these Christians all over embrace the assurances God has given us. We read the psalms and other passages that speak of the goodness of God, His sovereignty, His power over creation. Still, COVID-19 continues to be a very real threat. But rather than dwell on the threat of COVID-19 maybe we should look beyond the inconveniences, challenges, and frustrations for opportunities.
During the pandemic, we should be asking ourselves, “How is God calling me to serve?” We may be isolated in our homes, but we don’t have to be isolated from our communities. Technological mediums will never replace what we get from face-to-face, embodied fellowship, and we should never consider separation from friends and our local body of believers as the norm. There are many tangible needs in our communities. As Christians, we need to reach out in tangible ways to let our neighbors know that they are not alone. As you are able, consider how God might be calling you to listen to others or speak a comforting word, to help provide food or necessities to those who are lacking, or to share other blessings with those who are struggling.
A phone call can be very encouraging to those who are isolated. Encourage people to reach out if they need anything; dropping off extra supplies to an elderly person who was not able to prepare can be done safely. Even in times of masks and social distancing, we can safely reach out in mercy and love. God is calling His people to be a blessing and, most importantly, to provide hope to those who are fearful.
Times of trial, uncertainty, and fear are not the moments to lean away from God, but the moments to lean toward Him—in every way we can. We might also use this time to connect with our immediate family. Being locked together in isolation can present its challenges, but it’s an opportunity to work on our most important relationships with greater intention and dependence on the Holy Spirit.
- What are your biggest challenges during the pandemic?
- What can we do this week to connect with the community around us?