“If you, then, being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:11-12
I was reflecting on these verses this morning in light of the current pandemic. I walked into the storeroom for more toilet paper to restock the upstairs bathroom and thought “If my neighbor came to borrow toilet paper, what would I do? How much would I part with?”
Apart from the suggested actions during this time (social distancing, hygiene, etc.), Christians should maintain a heart of prayer. Asking for God’s mercy and favor on our cities, states, and country that this virus would die off quickly and the infected would be restored to full health; that our healthcare workers will remain healthy in body and spirit. We need to be asking our Father in heaven for these good gifts.
Christians should also maintain a heart of what we might call “Golden Rule Neighborliness.” It is just after Jesus reminds us about the heart of the Father toward us that he tells us to treat one another as we wish to be treated.
Perfect love drives out fear. We should have a level of natural prudence in this time of crisis. We should also have a supernatural level of love for our family, the family of believers, and for all those whom God places in our path at this time.
Now can be a time when Christians, moved by God’s love and filled with faith in the Father’s good provision, can rebuild a reputation of individuals who have a real and effective faith.
This pandemic is a biological problem (with multifaceted social, political, and economic ramifications, of course). Panic is a spiritual problem. As many of us are home-bound or barred from the usual activities of life, we have an opportunity to cultivate a new level of spiritual maturity. We need to be informed, but we need not glut ourselves on a ceaseless diet of news reports.
Take some time for prayer and intercession for the pandemic. Take some time for reading the Scriptures and meditation. Take some time with your family to read together, or play games, or watch movies.
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Isaiah 26:3
I pray that the Shalom of God may reign in your hearts and minds. Amen.