“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1)
As a result of the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic, the world is no longer defined by our distinctive languages, cultures and customs. Now, we are inescapably united and unexpectedly battling an enemy that does not respect race, gender or age. The existence of every individual on earth is at risk, albeit some more vulnerable than others, but no one is immune to the looming peril.
The pandemic has revealed weaknesses within our democracy, our emergency medical preparedness, our fragile financial infrastructure and our social order. The quote attributed to Augusten Burroughs, “When you have your health, you have everything. When you do not have your health, nothing else matters at all,” is playing out in real time throughout the world.
This generation is inextricably gripped within the tentacles of a devastation that will forever change life having the potential to either leave us better or worse for the experience. The images of the multitudes of victims and the carnage that surrounds each impacted community will be etched in the human psyche given the intensity of this pandemic. The high level of anxiety and the plethora of repressed emotions that have been exhumed as a result of this shared experience will not be soon forgotten.
The pandemic has not only revealed societal weaknesses mentioned earlier, it has also brought the entire human race face to face with mortality. Young and old alike must consider the transient nature of humanity as covid-19 spreads insidiously throughout the land and the loss of life is exponentially mounting with each passing day.
Jesus prepared us for this day. Throughout Scripture He taught us how to view our earthly experience, He spoke of the inevitable difficulties we would face in this life (John 16:33), of the brevity of our days (James 4:14) and the perspective we need to cultivate in order to have joy and peace in spite of our circumstances (Colossians 3). He reminded us that this world is not our home (Hebrews 13), he spoke of the deceitfulness of riches (Mark 4) and he encouraged us to reexamine our priorities and identify in what or whom are we placing our trust (Psalm 20:7).