A lot is going on right now in the news. A lot of fear is going around. A lot of worries are on the minds of many people. Since I am home much of the time, I was curious if what I was hearing was actually happening or if the media was making a big deal about nothing. It didn’t take long to find out for on Wednesday, I made my weekly shopping trip to town and found that there indeed was no toilet paper to be found.
There is much that could be debated. One could fight out the reasons why the coronavirus isn’t something to worry about any more than the common flu. One could argue why toilet paper isn’t going to save a person during a quarantine. One could reason out why limits should be instated. But this isn’t the issue.
The issue is that we are right now witnessing a “BIRTH PAIN”. In Matthew 24, we read that Jesus was preparing us to meet the times that are going on today. Are you prepared? Or did this new coronavirus hit like a thud? Was it a shock? Were you prepared for the way people reacted? Were you prepared for the fear or worry you have in your own mind? Do you walk around looking at people with sniffles like they are the enemy? What was your reaction to this birth pain?
Matthew 24:7 (KJV) clearly tells us this, “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.”
What I want you to focus on is the word “pestilences”. I looked it up to be sure because I don’t want to just throw out my opinion and lead someone astray. The definition of pestilence by Merriam-Webster: 1) a contagious or infectious epidemic disease that is virulent and devastating 2) something that is destructive or pernicious.
Now, isn’t that interesting? This isn’t the first pestilence we have dealt with in my lifetime and it likely will not be the last. However, this again is no reason to fear. Jesus did not want us to fear and that is why He gave us a heads up. He didn’t leave us without a warning to prepare for the things that will happen during the end times or these early birth pains. And like birth pains, they will come closer and closer together. It appears that is what is happening with pestilences.
So what does this big alarm with the coronavirus really mean for us as Christians? Does it wake you up and make you think? Does it scare you? Does it make you mad because life isn’t “normal” anymore?
For me, it clarifies in my mind our place in history. It clarifies that time is running short. It clarifies to me that there is more to be concerned about than simply our time on this earth. I find myself asking…How is my relationship with Jesus? How is yours?
More importantly, as these pains become closer, are you ready to meet your Saviour? Are your children ready to meet your Saviour? Is your family ready? Your friends? Your neighbors? It sure makes life look different, right?
I find myself wondering if I am prepared for the times to come? While I trust that God will keep us and deliver us, I do wonder if perhaps these birth pains are more to wake us up. More to nudge us on for the duty we have as Christians. Maybe to help us see that we aren’t as ready as we thought we were. Do we know our Bibles? Do we live what we believe (or say we believe) in our homes with our children? Do we share the truth and love that we know and have in our hearts with those around us and those we meet?
My prayer for you as this week closes, is that we draw close to God. I thank Jesus for the message He shared with us so we can be prepared for these times we live in. Let us not live in fear, but rather in boldness and courage. Let us live out the faith we proclaim to have. Let us teach it to our children and be willing to share it with those around us. May our hearts be renewed and have that relationship with Jesus that can last through troubling times…and on through eternity.
“Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” Joshua 1:9
May your Sabbath be blessed!