Even a quick glance at a news service these days, one cannot fail to notice that the world is descending into panic mode. From travel restrictions to self isolation and supermarkets sold out of toilet paper and hand sanitiser, people are turning to survival tactics in anticipation of Armageddon.
I heard it said recently that the most dangerous thing about Covid-19 was the media. I am not denying that people are dying, but if you watch the news or read a newspaper, you could be forgiven for thinking that 80% of the worlds population were heading in that direction imminently.
There is a fairly high chance that in the course of this “outbreak” you or someone you know will be infected. How serious that is for you will depend on a large number of factors, including age and any underlying medical conditions you may have. For the majority of people, the infection will pass like any other flu like illness or bad cold.
Media outlets have jumped on human instinct in a bid to sell more column inches or get higher ratings. They want to be the first in breaking a story, and once sales are up, they will do anything to keep them up. That means they will continue to perpetuate half truths and worst case scenarios in order to make sure people are engaged with them.
What they are doing is creating a culture of fear amongst people.
That is where I come across a problem as a Christian and a Scientist.
As a Scientist who works in the field of Microbiology, I have a pretty good understanding on how this virus spreads, and perhaps more importantly how it doesn’t. I know what is effective in protecting people from infection and what is just over precaution and pretty futile. As a scientist I am watching with interest how a virus is adapting and changing. I am trying to understand the guidelines produced by Governments, and health experts and ensure that I can translate that to my day to day working life.
As a Christian, I am resting firmly in the knowledge that God is in control and I don’t need to be concerned about having all the answers. At least 365 times in the bible, we are told not to be afraid (or words to that effect.) Any time an Angel pitches up the first thing they seem to say is “don’t be afraid.”
God is not a God of confusion, panic or fear. He is a God of peace and sound thinking.
If we are experiencing fear over the current global situation, we can be sure that that emotion hasn’t come from heaven. It’s time to stand in the assurance that we have in Christ.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you. He will never leave you, nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6) “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you.”(John 14:27). “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God, I will strengthen you and help you….” (Isaiah 41:10). “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about you adoption to sonship. And by him we cry ‘Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15)
Fear is a liar. It will confuse and bring hurt. It cannot be trusted to bring good.
However difficult your situation is today, whatever you are worried about, be it Coronavirus or something else, may I encourage you to stop listening to the voice of fear, but to turn to the One certainty in all the confusion.
Ask Holy Spirit to bring calm, peace and a lightness to your situation, and allow Him to change your outlook how you react to whatever is being thrown at you.