27"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27)
We're standing in the middle of troubled times. The Coronavirus is a globally spreading pandemic, affecting people from every continent and every walk of life. The young, the old, and every in-between are at risk.
It's easy to panic in this place. Maybe you find yourself tempted to hoard supplies, anxiously watching the news, or fretting over all the horrible things that could happen to you and your loved ones.
These are natural and normal human reactions to chaotic moments. But just because panic is a tempting reaction doesn't make it your only choice. There's another option that you may be tempted to overlook—peace.
Often, we think of peace as a delightful blessing that we happen to stumble upon now and again. Maybe you felt peace when you took a day off in the middle of the week to spend time at the beach or when you heard the news that a loved one's cancer hasn't returned.
But peace isn't just an unexpected blessing.
It's also a choice.
Peace is something we can choose to walk in, even in the middle of the Coronavirus. Even in the face of a global pandemic. Even when we fear losing our jobs. Even when we worry about feeding our families.
It starts with turning your eyes to the throne of God. The Psalmist proclaimed,
8"God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne." (Psalm 47:8)
Just as these words were true over 2,000 years ago, they're still true today. God is still on the throne. He still reigns.
Pause to meditate on that truth for just a moment, friend. Despite the chaos, pain, and heartbreak we are encountering in the world today, God maintains absolute control.
29"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father's care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." (Matthew 10:29)
You are precious to God. He knit your cells together. He chose the color of your eyes and picked the type of pair you'd have. He painted on your freckles and rejoiced to give you that "birth mark" on your back. He loves your heart and delights in the sound of your laughter.
In the middle of chaos, it's easy to forget these facts. It's tempting to believe that God is distant, but He's never been closer to you. He loves you, and He loves those you love.
14"When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick." (Matthew 14:14)
When Jesus came to earth, one of the marks of His ministry was His healing power over every disease and disability. Some people were cured of an illness by simply touching the hem of His garment.
The same Jesus who had compassion on the sick and frail thousands of years ago still has compassion for those who suffer. He still cares deeply about every sniffle, cold, flu, and virus we encounter on this earth.
If you're a Christian today, you can rejoice. You are standing in the middle of a beautiful opportunity to share your faith. Never before have people been more desperate for words of encouragement and hope.
You can sow seeds of love and grace by being kind to those around you (including those you encounter in the grocery store and at the doctor's office).
You can show Christ's love by refusing to hoard supplies or, even better, by sharing your resources with those who don't have any. You can share God's peace by choosing to remember God's care and provision in times past.
God, today we rejoice in Your Sovereignty. We choose to remember that You are in control, and no virus, flu, or illness can enter our lives without Your Divine permission. You alone hold the power of life and death.
We pray for those who have been affected and will be affected by Coronavirus. We ask for complete healing over their bodies and continual peace over their hearts and minds. We ask for speedy recoveries and a return to full-strength.
We pray for those who are working in the medical profession right now. These healers are undoubtedly close to Your heart. Please, protect them from this awful disease. Comfort them as they comfort others. Encourage them in the middle of the battle and remind them that You are near.
Just as You have complete control over every virus, Father, we ask You to stop this one. Hasten the development of vaccines or another cure. Let no more lives be lost to this deadly disease.
Finally, God, we pray for those who have lost or will lose loved ones to the Coronavirus. Walk with these precious souls. Let us be compassionate, quick to grieve with those who are grieving, sharing their sorrows, and comforting them in their affliction.
Thank You for all You've done. Thank You for staying in control, even when the world feels chaotic and scary. Turn our eyes to You in these moments. Keep our gazes fixed on the Cross. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Grace and peace,
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