A Note from Peter
Recently a friend shared with me a post from missionaries who are serving in Mexico. In it they said that with more and more countries closing their borders, universities, schools and public events being cancelled for several weeks, and the encouragement from our governments to work remotely and prevent the spread of Covid-19, it’s easy to give into fear, panic and fending for ourselves. This attitude is much like the response of the disciples when the encountered a fierce storm on the Sea of Galilee and were assaulted by huge waves that threatened their survival. As they struggled to cope with the storm that hit them, they asked Jesus, “Don’t you care if we drown?!”
“Lord, don’t you care that the world is being infected by a virus we can’t see, touch or control? Don’t you see that our kids have to stay home or have been sent home from college, and they are missing out on their education? Don’t you care that all the plans we made for our upcoming travel and the events we needed to attend have had to be cancelled? Don’t you care that the medical systems of our country are being overrun, and we are so very frightened about the future? Don’ you care?”
How did Jesus respond when He was with His disciples? The Bible says that he got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” And the wind died down completely, and it was completely calm. Then He turned to His disciples and said, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
Friends, Jesus does indeed care, and He isn’t asleep. And He is with us in the middle of this storm of Covid-19. God is on His throne and He’s still in control, and He wants us to choose faith over fear when it comes to the storm of this spreading virus. Faith is a daily decision we make in how we respond to the circumstances in life we face. Where are you putting your trust? In the news, the government, the scientists to find a vaccine, or your family? Or are you putting your trust in God who is the Creator and Savior of the universe?
Back in 1948, C.S. Lewis wrote a wonder essay on the fear of death from an atomic bomb which had become a new modern threat. I think it is very relevant in this current moment of ours. “’How are we to live in an atomic age?’… 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… 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.” (Present Concerns: Journalistic Essays, 1948)
Another friend wrote this in a recent post: “To everyone who’s barely holding it together. Good job today. When you’re just barely holding it together, every day is a long and tiresome struggle, every challenge of every size potentially ruinous. Maybe you’re just barely holding it together financially—many people are. Maybe it’s a threadbare social network that’s left your nerves feeling stripped and exposed. Maybe it’s a marriage, maybe it’s parenting, maybe it’s the desire to parent and the inability to, maybe it’s racism that keeps you working twice as hard for half as much, and maybe it’s some combination of these and more. On top of a global pandemic. In spite of that, you still manage to make it to your home office, or to pick up the kids, or to go to the store, or to walk the dog. And for that, I want to say: Good job.”
Friends, be safe, keep your eyes on Jesus, use the time of isolation to nurture your soul and love your family, be mindful of others because that’s why you’re staying home, and be full of faith. Oh, and wash your hands. A lot.
Last fall I saw the film Little Women. It’s a great movie. The author of the book, Louisa May Alcott, once wrote, “I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning how to sail my ship.” May this be our attitude today, too. I love you all, and I miss you. Take care, and God bless.