But as they were sailing along He fell asleep; and a fierce gale of wind descended on the lake, and they began to be swamped and to be in danger.
And He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were fearful and amazed, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?”
Luke 8: 23 & 25
As I write this blog, we as a state, nation and world are engulfed in the coronavirus pandemic and are facing turbulent times of great uncertainty. How will we fare during this challenge, and what will life will be like after this is all over? The questions we must all answer for ourselves is “Do we believe God knows about this problem, and does He have control over it all?” We must answer it for ourselves as we must face this challenge individually, and what others believe does little good if we do not have confidence in our Lord to face it with faith. This covid 19 virus is a real thing, just as the wind and waves were a real thing to the disciples in the boat with Jesus. Is God asleep and not paying attention as it seemed that Jesus was doing? Even if God is paying attention, does He care enough to do anything about it? These are the challenges to our faith right now that each one of us must deal with. For myself, there is no doubt that God not only knows about this virus, but He is the Master of it as well. If God can command the winds and sea, can He not command this virus? If God cannot control these things, how “all-powerful” is He? I am certain that everything that exists is all under His complete control, and He has a purpose for this as He does for all other things. I do not claim to know why God has allowed this virus to wreak havoc now, but I do know it can be used to bring many positive changes to our world like increased humility, concern for others, gratitude for the simple things of life, greater love for our family and friends, etc. Now we must not be foolish; this is not the time to “test God” by doing whatever we want and expecting Him to protect us. In the Luke text above, the disciples would have been foolish to decide to jump in the water and swim for shore in the storm. Their safety was found in being close to Jesus and trusting in Him in the boat. When Peter walked on water in Matthew 14, he did so after he got permission from Jesus and he walked toward Jesus, and then ultimately needed Jesus to rescue him from drowning. To brazenly disregard this virus is to “test God” and act carelessly; that being said, we are not to cower in fear or become paralyzed, but rather take time each day to worship God and ask Him what He would have us to do to minister to others. Matthew 6:33 is very applicable here, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Now is the time to shine brightly for Jesus and to help others, however we can, but not in a careless and dangerous way that may bring harm to others as well as ourselves. Get your marching orders from God’s Word and the Holy Spirit each day in prayer, and let Him use you to make a difference. Keep your faith in God that He is in control and do not panic, but move forward in life with a firm resolve to be faithful in all things, and to redeem the time for eternity. You will certainly be blessed if you do!
Love in Christ,
Pastor Gary Houdek