I’ve talked this subject to death. I’ve looked up its symptoms online. I’m guilty of panicking about what it means for my life and my future.
Yes, I’m talking about the coronavirus. This sickness is a hot topic in our culture right now. However, it’s more than just a sickness.
In fact, I’m more scared about the effects of the coronavirus than the possibility that I’ll catch it.
The Real Reason
My trip home for spring break turned into a we-don’t-know-when-you-can-return-to-campus trip. So I left most of my belongings in my dorm room but packed up lots of my clothes and shoes. I stared at my hall as I left and wondered when I’d walk down it again.
I said goodbye to my friends like it was the last time I would see them this semester. I had a “parting meal” in the library with a few other friends. I hugged my closest friend goodbye but hoped it wouldn’t be goodbye for long.
My excitement about going home for spring break turned into nervousness about the unknown for the rest of the semester. I hate the unknown. That’s why I’m most concerned about the coronavirus.
Because I don’t know when I can resume my normal life again. When will classes restart on campus? What will happen to my piano students and the 5th grader who I tutor? Will the annual spring banquet still happen?
These questions may seem silly when compared to the questions that coronavirus victims are asking. I know people are legitimately suffering from this illness. Thus, I realize my concerns about the unknown during this time might seem petty. But they’re legitimate, too.
I don’t have the coronavirus, and you probably don’t either. Yet churches, schools, businesses, and other establishments are closing. Why is this mess happening, even though a small percentage of people have the coronavirus?
Time for a Timeout
Obviously, I’m not the only one who’s concerned about how the coronavirus will shape our future. Your job may currently be nonexistent. Your school may be closed until further notice. Your church may have locked its doors. Your favorite restaurant may be closed for who-knows-how-long.
I’m no scientist, and I’m no theologian. But my sister brought up an interesting point about why God may be allowing the coronavirus to happen. Essentially, she said it’s God’s version of a timeout.
Maybe you can’t see your best friend at church. Or you can’t meet your significant other in a normal public place. Or you can’t hang out with your friends at school. Or you can’t go to the movie theater with your family.
So who will we turn to?
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling…Come, behold the works of the Lord, Who has made desolations in the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah. (Psalm 46:1-3, 8-11 ESV)
The spread of the coronavirus—and its effects on everyday life—is an opportunity to depend on God. This is an opportunity to trust Him and draw close to Him. This is not an opportunity to panic, to run to a friend or family member in fear, or to turn our backs on God.
It’s true that, right now, there are many question marks in my life. You can probably relate. But, as Psalm 46 says, instead of surrendering to fear, we must be still and trust who He says He is. He wants us to turn to Him in this situation, even though it seems like a mess. He won’t leave us now—or ever.