Our response to Covid-19 is missing something. In America, we have only been aware of the novel Coronavirus late February, beginning of March. But since then, so much has happened. As I watch the coverage of this pandemic, the one thing I find missing is the cry out to God. Where is the cry?
There is not much mention of God, actually, other than an occasional rally for prayer. No, what our response has been is ensuring that we have adequate supplies, washing our hands, wearing masks in public, and wiping down surfaces we touch. Our governments have responded by placing restrictions on gatherings, social distance requirements, and closures of non-essential businesses; all of which are totally appropriate.
I just wonder why have we not looked at the God who made all things and is sovereign over all things, as to whether he has something to say about where we are, about what is happening?
I think that we have lost a God-consciousness. In former times, when something devastating happened, our cry might have been, “Oh God, help us!” I believe, we all know deeply that there is one who is over all things, and bigger than our circumstances, and able to save.
Our current response made me think of these men who were caught in a storm in a boat. Their initial response was to cry out to their gods, but when that yielded no results they turned to another in the boat who seemed to be oblivious to what was going on. Apparently, Jonah had shared with the men that he was trying to get away from the LORD because he did not want to do what God charged him to do. Check out the story:
“But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was |in danger of being| broken. Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? Arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not. And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah. Then they said to him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us. What is thine occupation? And |from whence| comest thou? And of what people art thou? And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, who hath made the sea and dry land. Jonah 1:4-9
“Tell us, we pray thee,
for whose cause
this evil is upon us.”
Sadly, that does not appear to be our response to Covid-19. Our focus is on the here and now, the immediate as to what we can do. Yes, we are praying for our health care professionals and those on the front line. Yes, we are praying for a cure, for the spread of the virus to slow, but would asking God to stop the virus be too much? He can do it you know.
But would he? God is a God of purpose. We don’t know the mind of God. (Isaiah 55: 7-11) God is sovereign over all things, even this. What might he expect from us?
“He has told you, O man, what is good, and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8
” Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13 KJV
“The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent…” Acts 17:30
Even in this, we can and should turn to God, the maker of heaven and earth. He will abundantly pardon, when we forsake our way and cry out to him.