Lessons from a Virus

COVID-19. Coronavirus is a new virus that has impacted the public psyche. It is certainly cause for public concern and containment measures. We should all be following them, for the public good. Sadly there are extremes in reaction. Some act as if entitled to not be inconvenienced by shut-downs. Others spread a shrill message feeding anxiety, which does not help matters.

Then there is the media-driven fear. News outlets will squeeze all they can out of an event. Concern and information is certainly valid. It must be addressed and taken seriously for the good of everyone. Panic is another thing altogether, however.

Beyond these issues, there is a deeper question. We seem to have forgotten we are mortal and life is full of dangerous things. That is the problem, though. We thought we could contain life within the parameters of human ability. The virus has taught us, even with all our knowledge and technology, we can not do so. It has become an important reminder, interrupting the casual frivolity of life we enjoy under the assumption we have ultimate control over everything.

One of the things the West has learned is that our presumption has failed. We presumed we could control life with money, institutions, and exalted human capacity. Our worldview being based on the expectation we know everything, we believe our finger is on the pulse of all things and our hands are moving the levers controlling it. A virus reminds us we are not in control. With such a crumbling foundation proven unsound, the reaction is panic.

It is God’s world, in which He rules as sovereign. We need Him. We are needy by design, but sadly self-worshiping by nature. Thankfully, God offers His grace in His Son, if we seek His face. Such a foundation stands.

As we address this situation with the appropriate care and compassion called for, we may be grateful for the gift of life. It has value because God created us. We cannot keep every challenge perfectly at bay within the structure of human will, but we can seek the Almighty in our need.

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.” (Jesus speaking, Matthew 7:24-27)

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