“The media is just making a really big deal about this Corona virus”, I thought while driving to Wal-Greens on Feb 28th, 2020. Packing my bags for air travel, the only necessary precaution needed was Dial soap for hand-washing. After all, Alaska is part of the United States. It’s not like I’m traveling to an infected country like China.
Pulling into Wal-Greens, I purchased a pack of gum to help my ears pop during the flight. Casually scanning the aisles my eyes lighted upon a box of gloves. Disposable gloves came in handy this past fall when bandaging my son’s injured foot. And my current supply has been depleted, so of course disposable gloves are a sensible purchase. While I’m here on the aisle, let me just look at the price for a face mask. The purpose of my trip to Alaska is to spend time with my parents, brothers, sister-in law, and nieces and nephews. So, of course keeping my family safe is a top priority. But no face masks were to be found on the shelf, so I shrugged and walked away.
The day of my trip I checked into the Orlando International Airport and didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary. The baggage attendant wearing a blue pair of gloves checked my bag as usual. But when the attendant’s glove stuck to the adhesive on my baggage tag, it tore his flimsy plastic glove. Raising my eyes from my red suitcase to his wide eyed expression, I detected the slightest hint of panic. He didn’t even finish tagging my bag, but stopped immediately and donned another pair of gloves. Glancing around I noticed almost every airport worker was wearing gloves.
Turning away from the counter I pulled disposable gloves out of my purse and tugged them on. Feeling silly, I walked to my gate hiding my hands under my coat. Arriving at my seat on the plane, my “neighbors” were wiping down the tray and armrests with micro-bacterial wipes. So, I’m not the only overly cautious person on the flight! Looking up two people walked down the aisle wearing face-masks. Are they sick or trying to avoid sickness? Although the television claimed masks don’t prevent catching the respiratory virus, I can’t fault them for attempting to avoid illness. After all I’m wearing my disposable gloves.
Arriving at the Seattle airport, I rushed into the bathroom and was stunned to find every stall empty. Glancing around, I saw a row of sinks. A line of women thoroughly soaping their hands were present at every sink. The hairs on the back of my neck began to raise, but I pushed the panicky feeling away. After all I had prayed about whether or not I should have taken this trip; not for fear of the Corona virus, but for fear of leaving an ill spouse behind for a full week. Alaska is a full day travel away even on a plane. So, the Lord and I conversed about this for a entire month before even boarding my first plane. The Lord had given me peace about my decision and that’s all there was to it! Go away fear of viruses!
Jogging through the Seattle airport to my connecting flight, a cloud of fear crept over me with each step I took. As I passed more and more people wearing face masks, the airport terminal became the valley of the Shadow of death. As I rushed along I reminded myself I will fear no evil for the Lord is with me. Looking down at my gloved hands, I wondered if wearing them reflected the condition of my own heart. Am I doubting the Lord? Am I trusting Him fully?
Since this virus is affecting entire nations, it reminds me of bible times. A common illness in the bible are plagues. Many people know how the Lord sent the plague upon the Egyptians when Pharaoh refused to allow All His people to go worship Him. But did you know that Lord even caused an outbreak of plague among the Israelites after they had been set freed from Egypt? There was a terrible “G-virus” aka grumbling against the Lord that kept occurring. The Israelites grumbled about not having sweet tasting water, bread, and even who is considered to be holy (Numbers 16:3). And when the whole congregation grumbled against Moses and Aaron, a plague began among the people (Numbers 16: 47).
So how did Moses react to the outbreak of the plague?
Did he run to the nearest town and purchase hand-sanitizer, gloves, and a face-mask? Instead, Moses and Aaron fell face down before the Lord. Aaron who had been appointed by the Lord to offer sin offerings on behalf of the Israelites, offered incense and made atonement for the people. He actually stood between the living and the dead and the plague was halted (Numbers 16: 48).
Nowadays Jesus stands between the living and the dead. Christ alone halts illness. But will we fall face down before Jesus and our Heavenly Father? Christ already atoned for our sins when He willingly sacrificed his life on the cross. But will you look on Him hanging on the cross? Will you receive the spiritual healing that He offers you today and everyday?
And once we have accepted Christ’s righteousness to cover our own sin, how should we react to the Corona Virus?
Well, in 1 Kings 8:38 Solomon had prayed some advice that we may find helpful today:
When famine or plague comes upon the land, or blight or mildew or locusts or grasshoppers, or when their enemy besieges them in their cities, whatever plague or sickness may come, may whatever prayer or petition Your people Israel make— each knowing his own afflictions and spreading out his hands toward this house— be heard by You from heaven, Your dwelling place. And may You forgive and act, and repay each man according to all his ways, since You know his heart—for You alone know the hearts of all men—… 1 Kings 8: 27 – 38 BSB
King Solomon had prayed for his entire nation to pray to God for forgiveness. For we all sin. We tend to justify our sin calling it a little white lie, just a borrowed item…and claiming our plans to return it. Shouting, “Everyone does it!” We may even feel justified, but are you willing to admit your own sinful condition and allow the Lord to begin the healing within your own heart?
If so, admit your own affliction to the Lord and raise your hands to Him in prayer today. He will hear you from heaven and will forgive. The Lord knows your heart, but still calls you to pray.
And what if one of our loved ones contracts the virus?
I remember Miriam being afflicted with leprosy and how Moses prayed for her healing.
So Moses cried out to the LORD, “O God, please heal her! (Numbers 12:12 BSB).
In the same way, we should pray for those who have been afflicted with the virus.
We always hope for a miraculous physical healing but even Miriam was not immediately healed. She lived outside the community for 7 days before being restored.
In the same way we need to limit our contact with our family, friends, and co-workers, if we have been exposed to the Corona virus.
Once she was healed, she was brought back into the camp. Once we are healed from our sin, the Lord brings us back into close fellowship with Him.
If you watch the news look for the following symbol:
This symbol in our society stands for the medical profession. As a military medic, this symbol was pinned on each shirt lapel but I had no idea what it stood for. Our society may have forgotten that the fiery serpent mounted on a pole is a call to action. A call to be healed by looking upon the snake mounted on the pole in the desert (Numbers 21:9 BSB). Now the bronze snake was not intended to be worshiped but to foreshadow how Jesus would be lifted up on another “pole” and anyone who believes in Him will have eternal life (John 3: 14 BSB).
Will you pray for your nation?
Heavenly Father, You are our Healer, our comfort, and our Peace. I thank you Lord that you have prepared a way for each of us to be freed from fear, illness, and worry. Help us Lord not to grumble against you. You provide us water, food, shelter, and leaders in our lives to point us to you. May we always remember to bow our heads to you in prayer when doubt, fear, and grumbling creep into our minds. Thank you God the Son, Jesus Christ, who stands between the virus and the living. Your power halts any disease. Thank you for hearing us from heaven, and healing both us and our nations. In Jesus name, we pray, Amen.
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Briscoe, Jill. Here I am Lord Send Someone Else