Keep the Iowa Standard Going!
As we wander through the wilderness of the coronavirus pandemic it’s a perfect opportunity to realize God is in control. We may think we’re the masters of the universe but in fact we aren’t. God is.
Humanity has built a planet-wide civilization. Our machines transform deserts, harness the wind, and connect everyone in an ever-growing web of communication and information. Our planes fill the skies. Our ships fill the seas. We’ve walked on the moon, sent robot ships to Mars and the other planets, flung satellites out of the solar system, touched the bottom of the Mariana Trench, and built permanent habitations in Antarctica. Humanity stands proudly at the apex of life on earth as we cower before an unseen enemy and wage a war against a virus. Our leaders tell us we’ll win this war while in the back of everyone’s mind dwells the thought, “Someday we may face another virus or germ that will wipe us out.”
We live on a rock hurtling through space. Even a brief study of geology, paleontology, and astronomy makes it abundantly clear we live in a cosmic pinball machine. Over and over large asteroids have smashed into the earth often bringing an end to most life and signaling the beginning of a new epoch in the planet’s 4.5-billion-year history. It isn’t a question of if. It is a question of when.
And if species eliminating pandemics and globe shattering collisions aren’t enough, there are supervolcanoes lurking around the planet waiting like alarm clocks to explode and wake us from our blissful dream of ruling creation.
When we ponder our current situation, it might not be too far off to say, “This may not be the end of the world, but you can see it from here.”
With that thought in mind we might want to meditate on The Living Bible’s rendition of Proverbs 19:1, “Man proposes, But God disposes.”
The coronavirus pandemic rages all around us. The government has us isolated, locked down, watching infection charts and mortality rates wondering what happens next. As we fixate on survival, wishing we’d been crazy enough to be a prepper before being a prepper was cool, off in the distance our mind’s eye tries to envision the New Normal the media echo-chamber tells us is on the other side.
The easiest thing to do is to allow fear a toehold in our lives. Fear of catching the virus. Fear of our loved ones catching the virus. Fear of losing our jobs. Fear of watching our carefully constructed lives wither on the vine. Fear of not having enough money, food, hand sanitizer, or toilet paper to make it through the blast. Fear, fear, fear seems to be all the “If it bleeds it leads” news media offer wall-to-wall 24/7.
A wise woman told me that Fear is the captain of legions of other foul spirits such as greed and selfishness. Look at how many have responded to this crisis and you see those in bondage to Fear and its minions cleaning off shelves, ignoring shelter-in-place orders, and partying like there’s no tomorrow.
Let me show you a better way. Fear is the opposite of faith. Choose faith and live.
We know that most of the things we worry about never happen. Why waste our time worrying when we can instead walk in faith and have peace? God tells us not to worry more times than He tells us not to steal and we all know what stealing is. There’s a formula for peace. It’s like a recipe. We can follow it and bake it into our lives. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
I’m a Christian. I believe Jesus is the divine incarnation who came to pay the penalty for sin. He lived a perfect life, died a substitutionary death, rose from the dead conquering sin and death for all humanity. I believe He ascended into heaven, is seated at the right hand of our Father the Creator, and that He’s coming again to judge the living and the dead. I believe all that as strongly as I believe I’m typing these words right now. This is the foundation of my reality. This is my faith. Faith banishes fear.
If you’re tired of living your life in fear join me in a walk of faith. To begin a new life in Christ is easy, because the sacrifice of Christ has paid the price of admission. All you need to do is confess Jesus as the leader of your life and believe in your heart the God raised Him from the dead and you will be saved. That’s it. That’s all there is to it.
I’m not saying once we confess and believe we’ll skip down the primrose path with never a problem, a challenge, or a defeat until we dance our way through the Pearly Gates. What I’m saying is once we confess and believe we can rest assured no matter what happens we’re in God’s hand and no one and no thing can ever snatch us out. The viruses, asteroids, and volcanoes might come but our future is secure in the everlasting promises of God.
After we confess and believe we’re still facing all the same challenges we faced before, but now we have faith instead of fear. Now we know that when we pray God hears our prayers. In the natural we look to the government to save us. But the government is of the world and the world is passing away. All things will pass. Only those things in Christ will last. Reject the transitory dying things of the world and embrace the life that’s in the Spirit of Christ.
Embrace the faith. Defeat the fear. And remember the recipe, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
It may feel like prayer is all we have. Luckily prayer is all we need. Faith is the answer. Prayer is the key. Why worry when you can pray?