“If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Psalm 11:3
For me this verse has always had application to people living in another place at another time.
Navigating this pandemic has driven me to dust off my faith. To my delight, this process has tamed the fear that so wants to attach itself to the Covid 19 story.
One door that fear is knocking on is labeled “conspiracy theory”. Actually, there are several doors, of various styles, that lead to this same concern. If the people who are convinced of this theory are right then maybe I will be mandated to have a vaccine that has a tracer in it. Maybe I am being conditioned so that my behavior is more manageable.
All of this is of understandable concern. But does our faith have a response?
Thankfully, in Christ, we are already indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Through Him, our Heavenly Father tracks our every move. He even knows our thoughts before we speak. Regarding the fear of conditioning, we have already surrendered our lives to Jesus and are excited to be in the process of being transformed into His image.
So, any power that wants to take control of me for a malicious reason will have to confront my God, who indwells me. I am not under my own control, so I don’t have to worry about losing it. I am under God’s control who never loses a battle.
Knowing this frees me to say, “I don’t know” to the potential validity of the conspiracy theory, but it also tames the threat.
Another door that fear is knocking on is labeled “invisible virus that will kill you”.
Again, this is of understandable concern. But does our faith have a response?
Let’s remind ourselves of what we believe about death. We know it was not in the original creation narrative, but sin, both inherited and practiced has no answer other than death as it’s penalty. In ourselves, we have no way to cancel our sin or undo death as it’s consequence. Amazingly, our heavenly Father took it upon himself to send Jesus to die the death we were assigned to die. As Max Lucado writes, “As the echo of the crunching of the fruit was still sounding in the Garden of Eden, Jesus was leaving for Calvary”.
Jesus, having defeated death for us, invites us to appropriate His death as our own. We do that by surrendering our lives to him and living by faith in Him. Our baptism is a picture of our being crucified with Him and raised to eternal life.
The worst thing then that this Corona Virus can do is destroy our bodies, these tents that are only designed for temporary use anyway. Our spirits, secure in Him, don’t get either old or sick.
SO, any threat of death is tamed by the reality that my death has already happened. It doesn’t mean that I won’t grieve if I get sick someday, but I will not grieve as those who have no hope.
This faith also sets me free to say, “I don’t know.” to the opinion that this virus is either nothing to worry about or the end of our society as we have known it.
As we wait for answers to these and other questions we rejoice that our faith gives us freedom to respond from a different perspective. We don’t ignore our governments directives but rather use “safer at home” for reflection and prayer. We celebrate an imposed sabbath and yearn to make it a deeper habit than we have practiced before.
We take our questions to God and listen. We ask for a heart of compassion for those around us and for the world that is suffering.
Maybe this is a season where our faith will lead us to even see suffering differently.
What if it has been granted to us—in the USA 2020—to not only believe in Jesus Christ but also to suffer for His sake.
For this, we dust off our faith!!