Peace is my farewell to you, my peace is my gift to you; I do not give it to you as the world gives peace. Do not be distressed or fearful.John 14:27
I feel obliged to keep somewhat informed about the spread of COVID-19 (the coronavirus) and as I was looking on a news website, I saw a link that said “Should I be panicking?” My students, naturally, are buzzing with news about the spreading virus and beneath the nervous excitement, some are truly concerned about getting sick. It is understand that fear should start to set in when it seems like very little time passes between various people mentioning something else about the coronavirus.
Apart from practical common sense attempts to not get sick, there isn’t much I can do. Yet similar to how listening endlessly to political news reports can fill me with unrest, countless stories and updates about the virus can begin to make me stressed. Jesus, despite showing concern for the poor and the suffering, doesn’t want us to be pools of despair, overcome with anxiety and worry about what may happen. We have an intellect that we ought to use, but He doesn’t want us to be frozen in isolating fear. Christ came to set us free, even from the slavery to fear.
A video popped up alongside the article I was reading about the virus, and it was probably the best thing I’ve seen about the illness. The man speaking said that the problem for most of us is too much information. We want to be informed, but then we can fall into a hole of article after article about the virus spreading around the world. Statistics are easy to find and continually updated. His recommendation? Go for a walk, do something you enjoy, share with others about your fear, but don’t monitor the news by the minute.
If Jesus is truly Lord, then He is Lord of this situation, too.
Jesus, who do I say that You are? How can I live with the firm knowledge that You are in control, that nothing is outside Your will and that we can trust You with everything including our lives and the lives of our loved ones?
I want my students to experience peace in the midst of chaos. This is not the first time and it will certainly not be the last time that we need to rest in the enduring peace of Christ. Do we trust Him? He is faithful, He is always faithful. And He has a particular peace He desires to give to each of us at this particular point in time.
Do not be afraid. We worship a God who reigns mightily over life and death. All is in His hands. As Christians, we must live differently than the rest of the world. Our lives should reveal that this world is good, but the next world is better. What a gift to have a hope that cannot be conquered in this world, regardless what calamities befall us.