The Coronavirus, or Covid-19, our most recent warfare with an unseen enemy called germ-warfare has become a reality again. A living and intelligent organism that continues to grow and become more sophisticated every year. The last intense disaster that went into history putting all of us on notice occurred on September 11, 2001, with the 9/11 attack on our shores killing over 3,000 people, both American and Foreigners. It brought people to church, to God, to each other in fear, hope, and wonderment.
We couldn’t blame God for this disaster or the many natural upheavals that confront us almost daily. This virus is also one we should not accuse God of promoting. But, as with 9/11 this is getting our attention and God’s as well.
During the Exodus, and just before the Hebrew Nation left Egypt, God used many signs to soften Pharaoh’s hold on the nation of Israel. It took the death of all the first born of Egypt to make this a reality. God certainly got their attention.
God does not create evil or relish in the fact that we suffer. But as parents sometimes withhold certain pleasures to guide their children on the right path in life, so God also withholds many easy roads from us in order to get our undivided attention.
Our City, Pittsburgh, and our state, Pennsylvania, have joined many in using the smartest tactic to confront this newest virus by lessening crowds everywhere. The virus needs human hosts in order to grow and spread its insatiable attack on the human race. Isolation has become the best medicine.
Will this terrible onslaught upon humanity result in the same outreach like 9/11 and get people back to God? Of course many churches have curtailed unnecessary attendance or gatherings to make this isolation work. However, it should bring people to their knees in prayer and hope that our God is waiting for His people to turn back to Him. This time of our fear and uncertainty could become our own Exodus from an unseen entity seeking the loving and endearing Lord.
Look at the present state of our country, the many nations around the globe, turning away from God. How long we may say will God tolerate this mass separation from him and the wonderful world he created for us? When will we, you and me, succumb to the attention our Lord is trying to instill within our minds and hearts. Perhaps as we prepare for the Holy Season of Easter each of us may share the need to put God first in all we do.
Ralph B. Hathaway, Easter Season 2020