None of this felt real originally, but with schools, churches, races, etc. shutting down, this is all so real and overwhelming. Now, I still believe that the media is blowing this virus way out of proportion, but regardless, this is what’s going on. COVID-19 is real and this is our 2020. We’re being told to stay inside until we can get this virus under control and the best option is to follow and respect that, truly. Please, stay home, everyone.
As a Christian, this sucks. Let me rephrase this, as a person, this sucks. But for the Christian, it’s in our trials and sufferings where our faith is put to the test. It’s easy to praise God and to tell the world about God when everything is going right. When you get into your dream college, when you get the job, when you get an A on a test you didn’t study for, “praise God” is a natural response for the Christian, for me. But with heartbreak, with sickness, when you fail a class, when a loved one is suffering because of COVID-19, “praise God” is the last thing that I want to slip out of my mouth. Can you relate, my Christian friend? When is your faith strongest? When are you willing to tell people that Jesus wins in the end? Do you still know that Jesus is Lord in the midst of chaos and confusion?
And realistically, there is a right time and place for everything, Ecclesiastes 3 makes this clear. Read the book of Job, it was so much better for his friends to be silent in times of trials and tribulations rather than talk and try to explain Job’s suffering. But even if and even when God’s love does not always make sense, He is still worthy of praise, always. Read Psalm 145.
“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth” Psalm 34:1
God is always worthy of praise. I am not ashamed of my faith and I will continue to praise Him regardless. But friends, this blog is about me being honest. This blog is not just when my heart is on fire for Jesus, but when I am also prone to wander and when I have my doubts. Can I give you some insight into how I feel, as a Christian, with all of this that is happening?
I am fearful.
Let me be honest with you friend. Just because our faith and our trust are in Jesus, that doesn’t mean we don’t experience fear. There are times where I am really really scared with what is happening because of this virus and how that affects our future. We have never experienced anything like this. I’m scared that it’s only going to get worse. I am scared that my loved ones are going to get sick. I’m scared of how everyone is going to be affected.
I am devastated…with selfish reasons included.
This all sucks. This sucks so much. My heart hurts for those that are suffering because of the virus. My heart hurts for the people that are sick and my heart hurts for their loved ones. It breaks my hurt every time I hear about a new death.
And admittedly, I have several selfish reasons as to why I am so deeply saddened by this mess. The gyms are closed. I am going to have to take engineering classes online. I don’t have anything to do. I am going stir-crazy after only 4 days. I don’t have enough to do. My twenty-first birthday is going to be one to remember but for the wrong reasons.
The one who praises His name, the one that loves Jesus, the one that knows that God has a plan and a purpose still has cried multiple times a day over all of this. It is all so overwhelming. Despite your religion, I know you can relate. There is so much fear and anxiety in our world right now.
But, I still have my trust in Him.
Here’s the thing, the Christian still feels all these negative emotions about this. We are hurting with you. We don’t truly understand why this is all happening either. But here’s the thing, even if we don’t understand the why, we have an answer and we know our hope is in Jesus. We know that the Creator is so much bigger than COVID-19.
“ The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little while.” 1 Peter 5:10
“If God is truly loving, what is going on with the world?” “If there is a God that exists, there would be no suffering.” There is a God who exists and He tells us that in this world we will have trouble (John 16:33). Sickness, suffering, and trials exist because of an imperfect world, not because of the existence of God. And with all of the sickness, all of this fear, all of this doubt, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8 tells us this. With the fear of coronavirus, there is still a God who is loving. There is still a God who is perfect. None of us could have predicted this virus nor the blow-up of it, but God knew and He’s not shocked. He knew this was to come since day 1.
I am filled with fear, but I am also filled with the knowledge that Jesus has already overcome the world. Can I remind you of some of the locations that God provided and remained faithful? Galilee, Samaria, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Jericho, Judea, Nazareth, Gethsemane, Perea, etc.
“I am certain that I will see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart be courageous. Wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:13-14
My friend, because I see the truth in Scripture and because I read (or seen) how God has provided and remained faithful in the past, I can live in fear occasionally yet know the truth. I can be anxious at times but find my peace and my joy in the truth. This too will pass.
“Your faithfulness is for all generations; you established the earth, and it stands firm.” Psalm 119:90
So even with this, I am thankful.
Because I am staying indoors all day for however long, this has given me more time to spend with family, time that I wouldn’t have because I would be in school. I can finally learn how to cook. I have more time to write. I have so much more time to read. I am thankful that I have so much more time to spend with Jesus. I now have hours to spend reading the Bible, listening to sermons and praying. And I am using this time to reflect on my character and who I want to be and more importantly who God is transforming me to be. And so God, You are still worthy of praise. I take this time to thank you for providing me with food, shelter, and water during this epidemic. God, I thank you for these positives in times of suffering. God, I thank you that there is nothing I can do to separate your unconditional love for me, for us.
Jesus still wins in the end.
The worst-case scenario is a loved one gets taken by the virus. I could die from the coronavirus. That is all entirely possible and scary to think about. But even if, even if I die, I end up in heaven and God promises that “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things have passed away” Revelation 21:4. And so even if, even if I get taken out by this virus. Even if my loved one passes, Jesus still wins in the end and I will still see them eventually, as long as their hope is in Jesus. We are saved because of grace alone. It’s grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. “If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” Romans 10:9. That’s all it takes for you to be saved. Because of His grace, I am saved and because I am saved, even in the absolute worst-case scenario, Jesus still wins in the end. He is worthy of praise. Let me just take this time to pray over our world:
God, You are mighty and wonderful and You deserve praise, always. God, I pray over our hurting country. I pray over our hurting world. Jesus, I ask for protection and safety for those who are healthy. And I pray over those who are deeply suffering and are dealing with this sickness and the repercussions of the coronavirus. God, I ask for speed recovery. God, remind us to find our comfort in You. Remind us of the truths of the Gospel. You’ve already overcome the world. Jesus, You are the way, the truth and the life to salvation and all we need to do is to declare that You are Lord. God, remind us of those truths. God, I pray that despite all the pain and the hurt we’re dealing with that we can be reminded of your faithful love. We love you because You first loved us. I pray all these things in your name. Amen.
Hang in there, Seattle. Hang in there, United States. Hang in there, world.
“Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer” Romans 12:12