Pandemic Panic – Dr. René Milner
Currently we have been flooded with more and more news about the Pandemic. Lately I have found myself pondering the results of the Pandemic more than the pandemic itself. I heard someone say the other day he felt he would never be the same. I am not sure if he was sad or happy about that. Then it struck me I will never be the same. But the change in him and me were different. He was referring to the way he did work and the benefits he received from it. Mine is a different change. As I watch many of my colleagues get more and more anxious about the changes and the uncertain future I feel for their pain and yet have a bit of a hard time understanding it. I have not really felt sorry for the loss and the change and I have to wonder why? Have I gotten cold and uncaring? Does the fear of the future not concern me? Now, granted I am getting up there in years and so the inevitable is approaching. That could be fearful or it could be reassuring. What could make me not get overtly anxious over the current struggles? Then it struck me. None of this pandemic panic has anything to do with God and His Kingdom. Oh, the pandemic is undoubtedly under God’s plan and direction and it will work out for His glory but the Panic is not His it is ours. I would say this also applies to our government situation and decisions. For me it is as if much of this is going on at another plane and does not really interact with the day to day thoughts that fill my mind. Yes, I often have to interact with people who are totally immersed in the pandemic kingdom. Yes, my thoughts and words get drawn into that kingdom, but who I am and my concern about the future and about the things of this world has if anything shifted away from it. At first I wrestled with it and thought perhaps my lack of watching the news or putting out my political “flag” was a sign of apathy and lack of caring. Now I realize that the Pandemic is no more important to God’s Kingdom and His plan than the weather, an ocean or an entire species of bugs. These are all just part of His creation and designed to orient man to his own smallness and the vast overwhelming Glory of God. Any one of these things can be used to wipe out a man or a nation. It doesn’t matter. They can be used for what we think is good or they can be used for what we think is evil. It will all work out for the glory of God which is the good of all those that love Him and are called according to His purpose. And yet it can hurt. The pain and suffering is real. People get sick and die. Jobs are lost. Families are fractured. How can I be so callus as to say this is all for the “good”. Well first I would say let us give God the glory. No matter what happens God is doing it. Not the Republicans, not the Democrats, not the hospitals or the doctors, not the business owners or the workers. Not your crazy (un)vaccinated relative. God is doing all of this. Give Him the glory. In the pain. In the loss. In the confusion. God is there. When we turn from the fear. When we cast our cares on Him. When we scream at Him because we do not understand the pain, He gets the glory. When we take our eyes off Him and focus on the waves or the virus or the neighbor’s actions, we purposely give the glory that is associated with the circumstances of our lives to someone other than God. That my friends is Idolatry. Fix your eyes on Jesus. He has given us ALL we need for life and Godliness. There is nothing in the broken, diseased or deadly that is not a piece of ALL we need. Turn your eyes to His glory. Look at the awesome and fearsome power of our current situation and give Him the glory. Think on His power in this. Think on His love in this. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. This is all we need and all we need to do. Thank the Lord.