Friday, March 20, 2020

A message for Americans who are scared

At the White House press briefing on the coronavirus today, reporters asked, “Do you have a message for Americans who are scared?” Multiple times, multiple reporters, asking multiple people that same question.

In some ways an answer had already been given in that briefing. The President and his team come before the public each day with the information they have on how they're handling the crisis. And yet the fear persists as the crisis continues.

Congress is working on phase three of legislation to address the needs of the medical industry and other large sectors of the economy directly and severely affected by the coronavirus, and also to provide a cash infusion for people out of work and with suddenly diminished income, this writer included.

People's fears are two-fold. They fear the virus itself, and they fear its economic consequences.

There's a lot of uncertainty. Things upon which many relied have now become uncertain, at all levels with all magnitudes. A sense of dependency has invaded every corner across the land. Thank you, Captain Obvious, right?

There are some things not much said publicly yet which are of utmost relevance to this situation—a message every American needs to hear.

The truth is, our dependency is not new. Life has always been fragile, and our way of life, economy, income, and daily routines have always been subject to speedy removal and disruption.

Every good thing we have enjoyed in this country has been a blessing from God. In return He asks for our thanks. That price has been too high for some. Pride has kept our culture from giving Him credit, and we have kept the glory for ourselves.

Why would God continue to bless a people who reject Him?

I don't see signs we're finished rejecting Him either. We've barely come to realize the scope of the challenge. We're still dependent on what lingers of our old way of life and expecting things to get back to the way they were shortly. The essentials are still available at the grocery store, even if not quite as continuously as they were three months ago.

Government officials are firing up engines for a speedy restoration with the same means that could also accelerate our unraveling—debt spending. If it doesn't work, it could make our halted situation even more acute.

None of us chose or would have chosen our current circumstances. Nonetheless, God has chosen to give them to us. The question for us, then, is How will we use them? Will we use this time to seek Him? Are we better off with some things taken away?

Here are a few things to consider:

1. Your personal relationship with God. Do you know Jesus as your Savior? COVID-19 has provided renewed clarity that our lives are temporary, not permanent, and may be shorter than we thought. It is paramount to make peace with God, because this life comes to an end, and eternity is forever.

I used that phrase, “make peace with God,” very intentionally. We're not born with a good relationship with God. We're born into a hostile relationship with God. There is enmity between us and Him. Read Ephesians 2. Our sin is our utmost rejection of Him, and there's nothing we can do ourselves to get rid of that interference in our relationship with God. However, God has provided a way. He sent His Son to be the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Trusting in Him is the only way and is the way for everyone to reconcile their relationship with the one true God.

2. Our nation's relationship with God. Do we need to change? If so, What do we need to change?

It would not be hard for people who know the Scriptures to rattle off a list of evils in this land that need correcting. They would have a point and would be correct. I also think there's a more fundamental way to more effectively let God's point be made. I would encourage you, and plea with you to turn to His Word. Seek Him out by reading the Bible, and seeing what it says about where we are, and what we should do. If you're not sure where to start, try reading Deuteronomy 28 or Leviticus 17. (If ever there were a time to be grateful for the book of Leviticus and its clear descriptions of that which is unclean, during a pandemic would be it. The book reads entirely different when there are fears of uncleanness all around us.)

Exodus and Ezekiel are also two books that repeatedly point to a time when “then they will know” it is God who has acted in the life of a nation.

3. Get to know God. The knowledge of God is consistently upheld in the Bible as one of our highest, most rewarding and meaningful objectives in life. He is a good God, a good Father, and worthy of our getting to know Him. He is severe with sin, and He's also not willing that any should perish. Every good, fun, enjoyable, pleasurable thing has its roots in Him, and every good thing we've ever seen in this life are but shadows of things to come in eternity which no one has seen yet.

Friends, let's not wait until we're even more desperate. Let us seek Him now while He may be found.

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