Matthew 6:27 “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life ?”
I was about to write on a different verse from today’s passage when this one hit me between the eyes. Nothing could be more timely! The current pandemic, that has run for over a year now, has indeed taken many people from this life. The question remains, however, how many more lives have been destroyed because of fear of the pandemic. Just yesterday I saw another recognition of the statistic that there has been an extremely low incidence of influenza over the past year in the US, when in normal years that claims tens of thousands of lives. It’s not at all that COVID-19 isn’t a real disease that can be fatal, especially for the elderly, but rather that fear of it has been turned into a political weapon, with untold “collateral damage.” We will all die sometime, but we don’t like to admit it. Hebrews tells us that Jesus came specifically to “free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” (Hebrews 2:15) Someone who doesn’t have the assurance of salvation in Christ is naturally going to be afraid of death, but why do Christians join the panic? Diseases are just part of what Jesus was talking about when He said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) That doesn’t mean be careless, much less ignore basic hygiene, but it does mean, don’t be a slave to fear.
This is personal for me, because I had a friend die from COVID-19 after having been infected while ministering the Gospel at Mardi Gras in 2020. That was sad, but he was certainly ready to go. My own granddaughter and her husband have both had it, and have recovered beautifully. America has made a big deal of the total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 going over 500,000, but there is very little reporting of the fact that the rate of infections has gone down precipitously over the past six weeks. I find myself most disgusted over the politicization of the whole thing. Some horrible decisions were indeed made, and it looks like at least one governor is going to pay a heavy price for his, but there seems to be no hint of genuine contrition and apology. That is tragic indeed. Japan is just now rolling out vaccinations, but I don’t expect to get one myself. I’m not immune, but I refuse to be afraid! As the Bible expresses in many places in many ways, the only thing I am to fear is the judgment of God Himself, and He has provided His Son to take the penalty for my sins.
Father, thank You for this strong reminder. I find myself “swimming upstream” fairly often these days, often against people who are close to me. Help me speak the truth in love, not condemning but allowing You to use my words to set people free, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!