MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Monday, March 9th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. Natural disasters, disease, panic. These are facts of life on earth. And yet we have hope. Here’s WORLD’s Trillia Newbell.
TRILLIA NEWBELL, COMMENTATOR: Last week my city of Nashville experienced deadly tornadoes that took the lives of at least 24 unsuspecting people.
And if that wasn’t enough, two days later state officials announced Tennessee’s first coronavirus case in a county 20 minutes outside of Nashville. That happens to be my county.
On the day of the announcement, I took my usual morning trip to the grocery store—when it’s typically empty. But not last Thursday! Customers were pouring in the store. Carts were filled to the brim with food and toiletries.
I struck up a conversation with the cashier, and we agreed that the busyness was likely due to the coronavirus—which has already led to more than a dozen deaths around Seattle.
As I walked outside and checked my phone, I discovered that our county schools would be closed for two days for deep cleaning.
Whether it’s natural disasters, disease, or something else, there’s danger looming around every corner. We won’t run out of things to fear.
In many ways, perhaps, we’ve always been in a state of waiting for the next hard thing. I don’t mean that to sound melancholy or pessimistic. On the contrary, I’m hopeful!
But we live in a Genesis 3 world, where the curse has affected every aspect of our lives. Death and tragedies happen every single day. Some we know about, but most we don’t.
The response to the current virus outbreak has ranged from people joking and mocking it to figuring out a way to politicize it. There’s been no shortage of fear.
So what do we do? How do we respond to the reality of terror as Christians?
Well, we can resist the temptation to fear by remembering the character and nature of our Lord—and the promises of His Word.
Isaiah 41:10 records God’s declaration to us: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
God is our God. He is holy, set apart—and yet, He is personal. He told us we would experience suffering (John 16:33), but we also have the promise that He will be with us (2 Cor. 1:3)—and with all Christians throughout the world.
If terror prevails for a time on this earth, the truth of His great care for us does not wane. In the midst of fearful things, He promises to be our strength. He promises to help us and to hold on to us with His righteous right hand. We serve a faithful and loving God who will not desert us.
My prayer for us today is this: Lord, you are awesome and mighty. You are holy and good. You are the great I AM. You gave Your son Jesus for us so we might approach Your throne of grace. It is for this reason we come before You and ask for mercy for our communities and the world.
God gives us the grace we need to cast our fears onto Him. And we can rest assured the Lord will continue to work mightily, even when we can’t see it.
I’m Trillia Newbell.