Thank You, COVID-19
Updated: Apr 25, 2020
by Jordan Moore
James calls Christians to “count it all joy…when you meet trials of various kinds” (James 1:2). Without a doubt, the Covid-19 situation is a trial, and it is causing all types of difficulties for many people.
Certainly, we are prayerful that it will end quickly, that fewer people will be affected, and that this will have a minimal impact on people’s livelihoods. But in the meantime, consider some blessings for which we could thank the coronavirus:
“Thank you for reminding us of the heavy weight that rests upon our elders’ shoulders.” In many ways, this situation is unprecedented. Elders all over the world have been forced into making very difficult decisions. In the process, we should hold their hands up in assistance by submitting to them (Heb. 13:17); and their hearts up before God by praying for them (Eph. 6:18). But when the crisis has been averted, the difficult decisions and circumstances will not end. They will continue to sit in the living rooms of couples who are in the throes of marital conflict. They will continue to meet around the table to discuss difficult financial decisions regarding the future. They will continue to lie awake at night wrestling with the heartaches that come from watching God’s people suffer with sin, and sickness, and death. When the virus finally passe
s, don’t stop earnestly praying for your elders. Press on!
“Thank you for helping us stop taking things for granted that we so often underappreciate.” As the old adage goes, “we don’t know what we have until it is gone.” Perhaps, one of the first places our mind goes is to grocery store shelves (full of food AND toilet paper), access to restaurants, and entertainment via concerts or sporting events. But even more than that, it’s likely that far too often we all take for granted the blessing that it is to assemble with other Christians to worship God. What an encouragement it is to see the smiling face of an older Christian sister! What a joy it is to talk to our closest friends in person after worship! What a blessing it is to be able to cry on each other’s shoulders in the midst of heartache. What manna from heaven it is to be able to sit alongside other Christians to discern the Lord’s death as we commune together (1 Cor. 11:17-34). What comfort it is to hold the hand of our Brothers and Sisters as we are led in prayer before the throne room of God. What a thrill it is to blend our voices and our hearts together in song as we praise God and edify and encourage one another (Eph. 5:19)! When the virus finally passes, let’s stop taking these blessings for granted; and if you’re someone who makes a habit out of forsaking the assembly (Heb. 10:25), then let this be your wake-up call t
o the blessing that is always so readily available.
“Thank you for allowing us, on some level, to experience what our shut-ins regularly experience, so that we can better empathize with them in the future.” Obviously the two are not exactly parallel. For the shut-in, there may be very little hope of a return to “normalcy” in this life; while for most of us affected by Covid-19, eventually our lives will go back to a somewhat normal routine. But it does give us a better sense of what our shut-ins regularly miss out on – particularly the previously mentioned blessings of being together as God’s people. Covid-19 has blessed us with the reminder that we ought to more regularly reach out to and check on our shut-ins, elderly, and chronically ill (Matt. 25:34-46). When the virus finally passes, make a call, make a visit, make a meal – do something!
“Thank you for giving us another opportunity to practice what we preach.” It may well be that the wealth of our nation and the irregularity of persecution has, at times, resulted in faith that is misplaced (or is at the very least, shallow). We may regularly attend worship to praise God, but at home, our idols are our jobs and hobbies. Covid-19 has caused us to slow down and to practice what we preach about “the peace of God that passes all understanding (Phil. 4:7).” It has caused us to truly evaluate our lives and ask whether or not we are truly content in Christ all the time – or if we’re only content in the good times (Phil. 4:11). It has caused us to practice what we preach about our Eternal Hope. As Christians, we can face these uncertain times with confident hope because we have a Creator who loves us and has the power to calm the storms of sickness. But should He choose not to, as Christians, we have the confident expectation of looking to eternity as our final resting place. This world is not our home. When the virus finally passes, let’s live with the same contentment, peace and hope then, as we have the opportunity to live with now.