Here we are in the midst of a world-wide pandemic and Coronavirus or COVID-19 has taken over everything. Virtually everything we hear, read and talk about has to do with this virus. There may not be one person in this entire world who’s life hasn’t been affected in some way due to this pandemic. I think it’s fair to say that no one today has ever seen anything like this.
With “social distancing” becoming the norm and people, in some cases, being ordered to say in their home and others encouraged to go out as little as possible in an effort to stop the spread and the whole world caught up in fear what do we do? Politically, there’s a great debate happening to try to determine the cost of shutting down the economy to save lives from the virus versus letting people to risk getting the virus in order to keep the economy moving. Is it lives vs. money? Is the cure worse than the disease so-to-speak? Well, I don’t know the answer to any of those questions and luckily for us all I don’t have to make those decisions.
The question I do need to answer though is, “Where does the Christian fit amidst all of this chaos?” I was recently on a bike ride and after about a mile of riding the chain broke off of the bike. So, I found myself walking the bike back to the house and ended up with plenty of time to think about that question. The verse that came to me was 1 Corinthians 13:13, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” That seemed a little bit odd to me at first but as I thought about it some more it seemed to fit perfectly in times like this.
A world-wide pandemic is obviously unprecedented in our day but in our personal lives we all deal with crisis and chaos at times. Where do we go during those times and who do we depend on to get through them? When everything in life gets stripped away what is left? I think Paul is saying that at the end of the day almost everything in this world fades away or is perishable but there are three things, for the Christian, that remain: Faith, Hope and Love.
These are very uncertain times and we may have no idea if we will continue to be able to depend on our money or resources to get through, but our Heavenly Father knows what we need and promises to provide those things.
-Faith is how we know that God exists and He promises to provide our need. Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see(Hebrews 11:1). We have confidence that we are not left to fight the challenges of life alone. Jesus has already overcome this world and every problem that comes with it(1 John 5:5).
-We have hope in Him that no matter what happens in this world He loves us and is in control so we don’t need to be anxious about anything(Phil 4:6), we can cast our anxieties on God because He loves us(1 Peter 5:7), we can have peace of mind because He gives us His peace(John 14:27). These are the two things that help us go on in the midst of crisis and chaos.
-The last one, Love, the greatest one according to Paul, is how we express and show that the other two exist. It is important to still look for ways in which we can love our neighbors. And no, staying inside so that you don’t give them Coronavirus doesn’t count. It is important that we exercise caution during this time but we cannot let fear be our biggest motivator. Our faith must be stronger than our fears. Seek God and ask him to show you the best way to show love during this time. Our neighbors are living in fear, anxiety and general confusion not may the best time to “give the reason for the hope that you have(1 Peter 3:15).” The world is searching for hope. Let’s give it them in love.
Lastly, we at Here 2 There encourage you and your churches to check up on your missionaries serving abroad during this time. So many people are dealing with the chaos and also having to deal with even more uncertain or constrained governmental systems. They need to know you’re thinking about them and willing to help anyway you can. Contact us if you are looking for ways to connect and care for those serving overseas during this crises.