From a Pastor’s Pen: God… greater than any crisis

COVID-19 is the talk of the town…the talk of the world! It pre-occupies our thoughts, our conversations, even the decisions we make. “Is it as serious as I’m hearing?” “Is it a manufactured thing to help world governments get what they want?” “Is it all a hoax to divert our attention from more pressing matters?” “Is this the end of the world?”

Coronavirus seems to be very serious. We’re concerned about how rampant it is…and how many people have succumbed to it. We see how it has influenced the markets and hear mind-staggering statistics of how much money people have lost - trillions of dollars. Unemployment, closings, diminishing pensions, isolation - it’s unlike anything most of us have ever been a part of.

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But, it’s not unlike anything that’s ever happened. Generation after generation has had to deal with issues that have affected the whole world and people individually. In my lifetime, we’ve dealt with 9-11, AIDS and the Vietnam War. My parents’ saw the world at war with World War II and my grandparents had to deal with that other great war, World War I. They also had to face, head-on, ten years of the Great Depression.

That’s just the past hundred or so years. A flu epidemic took the lives of about forty million people following World War I; the Black Plague eliminated sixty percent of Europe’s population back in the 1300’s. Two thousand people died daily in Rome during the Antonine Plague in the second century. The Plague of Justinian wiped out thirteen percent of the world’s population in the early years of 500 AD. On and on it goes - the world has faced crises since the beginning of time - virtually no generation has been immune.

Psalm 46, in the Bible, was written about 2900 years ago. It’s unknown who wrote it, but whoever it was, it was very evident that calamities were happening even at that time. The writer spoke of earthquakes with the potential of mountains collapsing into the sea. The oceans were so turbulent that the mountains were actually trembling! The world was at war, and nation after nation was falling. It sounds like it was a terrible day to live in.

And yet, the author found an inner peace. This is how he bookended his description of the calamities that were taking place - he started with “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble” and ended with “The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.” He didn’t close his eyes to the seriousness of the problem; rather, he looked beyond…he looked up…and saw a God who was in complete control of everything.

There’s no doubt - COVID-19 is a serious threat. But the God of Heaven is far greater than any crisis. Find comfort in knowing that…and turn to Him in this very real hour of need!

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