Something Good About COVID-19
by Herb Geeslin, Pastor of Adult Ministries
Immediately, the question arises, “What possible good can there be in this terrible virus that is turning our world upside down and, in many instances, bringing pain, perhaps even death, into human lives?” Well, I am certainly not saying that there is anything inherently good about the COVID-19 disease. The good that comes to mind is this: COVID-19 provides an opportunity for us to examine our hearts in light of the many consequences this pandemic disease has placed on our doorstep. For example, consider the following:
It is good to be reminded that control and certainty lie exclusively with our God. Too often, it seems, even those of us who know the Lord tend to act arrogantly with our expectations and plans. “Yet,” we are told, “you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” (James 4:14) COVID-19 can serve to keep us mindfully dependent on the Lord, even as we push through the “routine” of daily life. Tomorrow is unknown to any of us, COVID-19 or not.
It is good to be reminded that we can become overly fearful. Upon realizing that we cannot “take over” for God concerning total control of our lives, we might find ourselves deferring to a sense of dread. After all, life is dangerous. You and I are vulnerable. Thus, for many, COVID-19 might represent the very thing that draws us into a spiral of fear and anxiety.
While anxiety usually involves worrying about what might happen, fear takes it a step further. Fear is more convinced that what is dreaded will really happen. Of course, God has designed us to have a reasonable fear of danger and of difficult circumstances. We are all going to feel afraid at times in our lives. However, God also wants us to factor Him into our responses when we are afraid. “When I am afraid, I will trust in You.” (Ps. 56:3) When we don’t do that, we become overly fearful. In other words, while there is a reasonable fear associated with COVID-19 (or any other present danger), we can lean on God in the face of it. COVID-19 will come and go, but other dangers will replace it.
It is good to be reminded that, as men and women in Christ, we need to place a high value on the welfare of others. Instead of focusing primarily on circumstances and on ourselves, we can seek both the physical and spiritual welfare of others during this pandemic disease. From a physical standpoint, the risk level of the people we spend time with varies. COVID-19 is not well understood at this point. Current data indicates that it has potentially crippling effects on certain individuals in all age groups. Think of “social distancing” as more than a way of “escaping” this virus ourselves. It is an important part of not transmitting it to others.
“Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others,” says the apostle Paul in Philippians 2:4. Until testing becomes the norm, even those of us who are asymptomatic could be guilty of giving the virus to others. That makes the inconvenience of limited human contact an act of love as we elevate a genuine concern for others above our personal desires.
At the same time, COVID-19 allows plenty of opportunities to seek the spiritual welfare of others. The various platforms of social media enable us to encourage one another and share the gospel with those who might be overwhelmed by the various ramifications associated with this COVID-19 crisis. They also enable us to stay informed about how we can help those around us. The “body life” of Christ’s church continues to function through prayer, words of comfort, food deliveries, etc.
So you see, there is something good about COVID-19. It builds trust in our loving, sovereign Father in Heaven. It eliminates our tendency to take the simple things of daily life for granted. It offers the chance to meet shared needs within our church and sphere of influence, both physically and spiritually. And it offers a golden opportunity for the good news of Jesus Christ to be proclaimed with clarity to a stunned, fallen world coping with the effects of this historic pandemic disease.