We live in dramatic times, while our world holds its collective breath. We mask our faces, maintain six feet of separation, Zoom our work, and watch too much Netflix. Simultaneously, the pandemic has wizened some to introspect about eternity.
I recall my Mom telling me about the Spanish Flu pandemic, which claimed 650,000 American lives. That scourge claimed her father (my grandfather) in the year of her birth, 1918. However, that pandemic never seemed real to me, as all painful historical events seem too opaque to fully engage.
But with Covid-19, I now understand my Mom’s “over-the-top concern” for my health. When I was sick as a child, she doted on me. When I became an adult, she tenaciously counseled me to “go to the doctor” when the slightest symptom reared its head. I always thought she was overreacting. But then, I didn’t understand her context – until now.
Perspective on Two Viruses
Can a panic-inducing pandemic shed light on our spiritual reality? It can – if we know where to turn. I love exegeting the Scriptures, to understand the intended meaning to the original audience – then applying it to my life, my times, and my world. But it also seems appropriate to exegete our current reality, to allow the Scriptures to better speak to our hearts. So, below is my side-by-side comparison of our current Covid-19 worldview vs. a Biblical worldview.
Our Hope: The Sovereignty of God
Finally, I read an article by John Piper (Coronavirus and Christ), where he insightfully counsels …
“… The sweetness (of God’s Word) is not lost in this moment of bitter providence (Covid-19) – not if we have learned the secret of ‘sorrowful, yet always rejoicing’ (2 Cor 6:10). The secret is this: Knowing that the same sovereignty (of God) that could stop the coronavirus and doesn’t, is the very sovereignty that sustains the soul in it. Indeed, more than sustains – sweetens with hope that, for those who trust Him, His purposes are kind, even in death.”
The Bible says that God has numbered all of our days, before we experienced even one of them (Ps 139:16). If so, it follows that none of us can show up early or arrive late to our face-to-face appointment with God. In that sense (as George Whitefield once said), “We are immortal, until our work is done.” I would add, “… and we’ll continue to be immortal after our work is done!”