My dear friends,
These days we are being overwhelmed by all the life changes that are resulting from an unexpected and unwelcome visitor, a raging virus called Covid-19. Most of us have not experienced anything like this in our lifetime. Schools, churches, and even businesses are ceasing to do business as usual, and we are being told that we are safer if we stay home. While the safety and sanctity we normally associate with being at home is a special blessing, yet the fear and disruption this virus has created is causing a lot of anxiety and uncertainty about our future. So, what do we do? To whom and where do we turn for stability and consolation? I recommend two obvious sources for the answer to this question – the Bible and prayer!
The Bible identifies the source and the remedy for all our maladies. Now, before you turn me off, see in the Bible what the Lord said to Moses: “If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you.” (Exodus 15:26) We learn here that our health and well-being are affected by heeding the Lord’s guidance, and “doing what is right in His sight.” Second, the Sovereign Lord is Lord over disease, and third, He is ‘the Lord who heals you.’ May I just emphasize the majestic dignity and grandeur of the authorities appealed to here – The Lord, Moses, and the Bible?! Can we bring ourselves to submit to this kind of authority? I hope so.
Prayer is our other, although tragically neglected, source of support to which we can resort in these times of anxiety and uncertainty. David prayed in his time of trouble, “They reward me evil for good, to the sorrow of my soul. But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I humbled myself with fasting; and my prayer would return to my own heart.” David was being unjustly treated, but he prayed for his enemies. (Psalm 35:12-13) When the hour was approaching that Jesus must go to the cross, He prayed, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.“ (Matthew 26:39) Please see two things from these verses. It might seem that, in both instances, prayers were not answered. David said, ‘my prayer would return to my own heart.’ He was saying, even if my prayers do not change my persecutors, they secure and sustain me. Through Christ’s submission to the awful suffering of the cross, He realized the fulfillment of the purpose of His incarnation. In Hebrews 12:2, we are challenged to “look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” God’s way is not always our way, but it is always the best way.
I know that life holds many puzzling things at us that are hard to understand, but our strength, joy and comfort can be realized through seeking and submitting to God’s will as made known to us through the Bible and prayer! Praying for God’s will to be done.