Trying to take in all the information on coronavirus in the last few days has been like trying to quench your thirst with a fire hydrant. There’s so much coming at you. It feels like it should help. Alas, here we are, thirsty for more. One of the many observations I’ve heard (one of the right ones, I think) is that this virus comes with two threats. The first is, of course, the virus itself. It’s a real stinker. On a side note, I will be joining with a contemporary sage in henceforth referring to this virus (in my most patronizing tones) as ‘Rona. Someone needs to put that nasty little harpy in her place.
The other threat is far more serious. It’s the panic, or, what I’ve started calling “The TP tizzies.” Let’s make that a thing shall we? If you don’t laugh about some of this then you’ll just cry all the time and you don’t want one more reasons for people to keep you at a distance. I digress. We were talking about panic.
Let me suggest that these sorts of things come to us as a test. You could say that while we are screening folks for coronavirus the Lord Jesus is screening us for atheism. At ground level, that’s what panic is: functional atheism. You’re familiar with the ground level, right? It’s that famous stuff that’s constantly meeting the rubber. So, here we are, the rubber doing the donut of all donuts on the asphalt of our lives, and our true gods are showing themselves in our responses to ‘Rona as she fills the air with the stench of burnt rubber.
To what will we turn in our panic? You could keep trying to drink from the hydrant that CNN, NBC, CBS and the other letters of the alphabet have gracefully run over with a Mac truck. You could turn to Amazon and stock up on “Tough Guy” toilet paper (seriously, it’s a thing and it’s all they have left. Good luck). You could abandon all wisdom seeking every available pleasure. But let us not beat around the bush. When you do these things you are worshipping. You are putting your hope in something. And though some of these things are good things, not one of them is the God who made you.
You live in the time of coronavirus. So, why are you here? Why now? How are you to respond? Let me offer Acts 17:24–31.
24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,28 for
“‘In him we live and move and have our being’;
as even some of your own poets have said,
“‘For we are indeed his offspring.’
29 Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”
The sum is this: God made you to seek him and know him. And the beauty of the Christian faith is that the God who made you has made himself known. He put you where he put you so that you could find him through faith in Jesus Christ. And Jesus Christ is worthy of all our hope and confidence because he rose from the dead. Seek him today.