So, the Covid-19 Corona Virus is gripping the
whole world with every country declaring travel bans on the left, right and a
center that can no longer hold. God doesn’t waste a crisis and already there
are a few lessons we can draw from the pandemic.
1. Things can change pretty fast
If there is one thing,we can’t miss from this pandemic is that things can get bad pretty fast. Worldometers https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ publishes live stats on the spread of Covid-19 and one piece of data that struck my mind was showing how South Africa had a double up of cases in a single day. The, “It won’t happen to me” attitude is the chief reason why people do not prepare even for imminent disaster. Over the past weeks we have transitioned from making jokes and circulating memes about the impact of the Coronavirus in China and Europe, to scampering for some essentials after discovering that we did not have critical essentials like masks, gloves and sanitizers etc. Of course, situations vary as some were able to stock up on these before time. Nonetheless, the bottom-line is that we were generally caught under-prepared for a crisis we watched unfold in clear view. It reminds me of the scenario where Jesus had consistently told his disciples about his death and that he would be raised up the after 3 days. Following his crucifixion on a Friday Jesus resurrected on the Sunday morning. The disciples heard about His resurrection from Mary Magdalene. Peter and John literally ran to grave. (John 20: 1-9) They could not believe what had happened as relayed by Mary and they were surprised yet Jesus had made this plain to them beforehand. The disciples were surprised when it arrived. This paints a pitiful picture of the condition of humanity and sadly some Christians who will be “surprised” by the second coming of Christ when they have always preached it.
2. God has no struggle in getting our attention
Clearly, God has no struggle in getting our
attention. This is not the first time the world is plagued by a pandemic but
there is something unique about Covid-19. The virus spreads very quickly and
easily even though it is not exactly airborne. Money, class, race or religion
are completely irrelevant in this case. The swoop of Covid-19 is
indiscriminate. Once more, all of us are unmistakably reminded of our
fragilities and susceptibility. There is not much room to debate the existence
of God and to indulge in unyielding academic arguments about God and religion.
The topmost priority of every soul that still breathes is survival, chances of
which can easily range between slim and none in a very short space of time. In
a nutshell, if there is one thing we could all agree on, it is that people need
the Lord. This calls for introspection on where each person stands with God and
whether or not whatever anchors we have installed in our lives can hold.
There is something profound the Psalmist says
in Psalm 119: 67-71.
67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but
now I obey your word. 68 You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees. 69 Though the
arrogant have smeared me with lies, I keep your precepts with all my heart. 70
Their hearts are callous and unfeeling,
but I delight in your law. 71 It was good for me to be afflicted so that
I might learn your decrees.
3. Vanity of vanities
With most public and pleasure-seeking activities called off, it is perhaps great time reflect on what really matters. With no premier league, public drinking banned in some places, and all major events that consume the capital of modern life cancelled it is indeed a great time to reflect, reboot and focus on the most important object of life, our origin and our ultimate destiny. This is not to say all public gatherings have no place in our human fabric however the salient take away from this situation is that when all is said and done, everything is vanity (perishable) including mortal life itself. At the threat of tragedy no one clutches at straws for their wealth, education, power and influence. The rallying call in face of danger is to do the best one can to hold on to dear life. While the life we have for now is just but mist (now it’s here and now it is gone) real life, embedded with true meaning and eternality is found in none other than Jesus Christ who is the way, the truth and the life. The idea of vanity of vanities as articulated by the wisest of all men (Solomon) does not seek to rubbish everything else in life and call for human beings to be hermits. Rather, it is a call to get our often lopsided priorities straight.
4.God always speaks
C.S. Lewis captured this thought succinctly.
“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts to us in our pain. It is His megaphone to rouse a dead world.” C.S. Lewis
5. There is hope
We have been educated that Covid-19 hits
hardest those with weak immunity systems and we know that one way of effectively
compromising your immune system is to worry, to stress or to be anxious hence
the parting shot from Philippians 4:6-7 is apt:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:6-7).