We’re now well into the COVID-19 pandemic and its continued dominance of almost every aspect of life.
At first it felt as though everyone was generally in agreement that a cautious approach was best, especially as we saw sports figures, celebrities, and people we know contract the illness. Schools closed, restaurants and retail shut down, and Tik Tok videos of puppies riding unicycles exploded through the clouds of quarantine boredom.
As things have progressed, the unity that appeared in those first days and weeks has dissipated. Many believe that we should stay the course, no matter the limits to our personal freedom and long-term effects on the economy. Others have started to wonder whether this whole thing has been a giant overreaction, a conspiracy to enhance our comfort level with governmental control. Perhaps you fall firmly into one of these camps; or maybe you’re squarely in the middle. No matter your opinions, one word is at the center of it all: fear.
As a Seventh-day Adventist living in 2020, I view everything through a biblical lens. Most Christians would probably say the same, so let me be a little more specific.
I believe that we are living in the feet of iron and clay (Dan. 2:41-43), which, when we consider the entirety of earth’s history, puts us much closer to the end than the beginning.
As things come to a close, pestilences, epidemics, and pandemics are only going to increase in both frequency and intensity (Matt. 24:7, 8, 32).
As a Seventh-day Adventist living in 2020, I view everything through a biblical lens.
One day things will progress far enough that people’s basic livelihood through the ability to buy and sell will be stripped, unless they conform to the will of the masses (Rev. 13:17).
When we have a proper understanding of God’s Word, nothing that has happened in the first months of 2020 should come as a surprise. There will be more COVID-19s, government will continue to peel away our rights, and in general, everything is just going to get a whole lot worse (before it gets much, much better).
What emotions or feelings does this evoke? If we’re honest, fear pops up at least once in a while. The vital question is: How do we respond when that happens?
We’ve seen throughout this pandemic how the world responds. But no amount of toilet-paper hoarding, stocking up on canned food, or burying gold in the backyard will provide a level of security that permanently dispels fear.
When I am gripped by fear, I go back to something else I believe: “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18).
Fear isn’t necessarily a bad thing if it prompts us to run into the arms of Jesus and experience the depths of His love afresh. When we choose that course, One greater than our worst nightmares will take over our hearts, putting fear in its place.
Regardless whether you believe we should stay at home or open back up, COVID-19 should serve as a reminder that this world will continue to come apart at the seams until it breaks. When it does, our strength to endure will be determined by the power of our personal relationship with Jesus.
Maybe it’s time to get off Tik Tok and have a bit more Jesus talk.
Jimmy Phillips is network marketing director for Kettering Health Network.