The pandemic that our world is facing is something unlike we have ever seen. With the recent boom in our technological capability and the mobility of each person on the globe, the novel coronavirus reached the level of a global crisis at an astronomical speed.
Ecclesiastes 1:9 says, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” Yes, you’re right — COVID-19 is new and unknown. Fear, however, is not.
Every Age of Humans Has Dealt With Fear
Fear is a fundamental characteristic of humans that live in a fallen world. Throughout history, tribes and nation-states have lived in fear and anticipation of many different things threatening them at that specific moment in the story of mankind.
I believe C.S. Lewis put it best when he wrote, “On Living in an Atomic Age.” Lewis reminds the reader how many serious threats humanity has faced in the past. Whether it be the threat of Viking invasion, the plagues in 16th century London, or nuclear bombs, fear has been known in every age.
As Christians, if we believe that God is the creator of the universe, then we can have faith that He has a perfect plan for each of our lives. Through this time, we must choose to live in faith, rather than fear.
“On Living in an Atomic Age” by C.S. Lewis
“In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. “How are we to live in an atomic age?” I am tempted to reply: “Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.”
In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors—anesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.
This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.”
Refuge and Fortress
We are living in unprecedented times. No one can dispute this. Even during these times of uncertainty, we can have peace in knowing that this pandemic has not caught God off guard.
I have been reminded over the last few days of a certain chapter in the book of Psalms. Psalm 91 tells us that no matter what troubles we face today, God is the place of refuge we can run to. He is our safe place.
God reminds us throughout the chapter to stay in His presence — for it is a permanent place of security. His presence is a safe place that brings confidence, rest, and peace, right in the middle of the struggles and unknown territory we face in life. The entire chapter of Psalm 91 is filled with the goodness and power of God.
I would encourage each of you to take time to gather your family today and read this passage of scripture. What a great reminder to know that He faithfully works on behalf of those who love him. Click here to read Psalm 91.