Dare I say it? The "End-Time Preppers" were right. They have canned goods and toilet paper stashed away, plus enough guns and ammo to defend it. The rest of us have put a huge drain on the supply chain of food and goods to the point that grocery store shelves are bare. It's not that there is a shortage - there isn't. We're hoarding supplies by buying more than we need. Why? Because our neighbors started doing it, so that creates a scarcity and we have to do it too.
Then there are those Christians who think these troubles are signs we're in the Last Days, like perhaps the Great Tribulation has begun. I don't believe it. I believe Jesus is our King and He's still on the throne. I'm expecting to overcome this challenge. Listen, an attitude of fear is always wrong. It leads to bad expectations. Fear can have you looking for the antichrist rather than the return of Christ. Believers ought to be spreading faith, not fear, and I'm a believer.
I think that this global pandemic, as scary as covid-19 is, is simply part of life as usual. There will always be plagues spreading somewhere in the world. Right now, locusts are destroying major food supplies in Africa. An ancient biblical pestilence has returned. A century ago, the Spanish flu cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans. When I was a child, my older sister recovered from polio. That scary epidemic left many young people crippled, unable to walk, or worse - trapped the rest of their life in an iron lung, unable to breathe without mechanical assistance. Because we moderns are routinely spared exposure to such awful plagues, we take our health and safety for granted. The benefits of modern medicine and sanitation are too easily forgotten.
My wife and I spent a year living in South Africa. In our travels, we were occasionally exposed to the threat of malaria. However, we lived mostly in Johannesburg, a relatively dry area, with very few mosquitoes. We had friends who had suffered terribly from malaria. One almost died. The best we can do wherever we may live is to take reasonable precautions.
For this reason, I hope that our government and medical manufacturers will make enough masks, gloves, and gowns to keep our health care workers safe. I appreciate the nurses and doctors who risk their health and their lives by staying on duty to serve the rest of us. Nursing home workers, lab technicians, and hospital personnel all deserve our gratitude.
Looking ahead, I notice that Passover and Easter are only weeks away. For those of us who are practicing social distancing as a safeguard for two weeks, we know an end date is ahead. This too shall pass. The historical date when Israel came out of bondage from Egypt, the event known as Passover, when the death angel passed over, signaled transition: the end of one season and the beginning of a new era. A transition zone marks the death of the old and the birth of the better.
This crisis makes us pause and think. Consider your beliefs, your ways. What have I been chasing? What am I living for? At the news conference when President Trump called for a day of national prayer, Dr. Ben Carson commented that the virtues of kindness and caring are values we need whether we are people of faith or not. They are worthy qualities to live by and will make us a better nation. Be still and listen. Does God have our attention?
-- Ron Wood is a writer and minister. Email him at [email protected] or visit www.touchedbygrace.org. The opinions expressed are those of the author.
Editorial on 03/25/2020
Print Headline: Seeing the season