The board game ‘Pandemic’ (Z-Man Games 2007) is described in this way: ‘As skilled members of a disease-fighting team, you and the other players work together to keep the world safe from outbreaks and epidemics. Only through teamwork will you have a chance to find a cure’. It’s good to know that there is a possible cure as you play the game. The real world is fallen, so that sin and evil have tainted everything until: ‘the creation itself will be liberated from decay’ (Romans 8v21). Only then will there be a new heaven and earth free from decay.
In China it’s a very anxious time. Hospital operations are being delayed. The borders are being closed. Air travel suspended. The initial small health crisis is growing quickly to become a pandemic. The outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was first reported from Wuhan, China, on 31 December 2019. This new illness can affect your lungs and airways. But because it is new means we do not yet know for sure how it spreads. Similar viruses spread in cough droplets. We hope and pray for a vaccine to be developed, but we ‘mourn with those who mourn’ (Romans 12v15), as the virus causes havoc, hardship and heartache.
How are we to respond?
To pray for those suffering that the Lord will show mercy and for the medical help to be effective, growing in sympathy for those who are sick or who mourn.
Cry to the Lord in prayer who alone can rescue: ‘The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; he is their stronghold in the trouble’ (Psalm 37v39).
To send us to our Bibles as we see the limitations of this world and our lives, but the trustworthy words of God’s promises.
Be thankful to the Lord knowing that our health is due to his mercy and our trials show our need of Christ: ‘I can do all things through him who strengthens me’ (Philippians 4v13).
Put our trust in the Lord for our future: ‘The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him’ (Nahum 1v7).
To repent and turn in faith to Jesus who said: ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ (John 11v26).
This is why we follow Jesus the author of life. We invite you to join us and do the same.