COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on our world in more ways than one, but Christians are looking for the rainbow in the midst of the storm.
A recent poll by the Associated Press reveals that 67 percent of American believers feel that the virus carries a message to change the way we live our lives, and that message is coming from God.
While 55 percent of Americans believe God will protect them at least somewhat from the virus, others feel that they are just as susceptible as everyone else, but they have faith that God will heal them if they become ill.
The numbers reflect enduring Christian beliefs that God is all-powerful and that despite the enormity of the struggle, He will see us through the darkest of times. Perhaps that’s why Christians seem to have a more optimistic view of the outcomes of the virus. They are looking for God’s message, for the takeaway that will make COVID-19 worth something greater than death, sickness, and a crushed economy.
River Pointe Church, a multi-campus Christian church with over 6,000 members, has related its recent sermon series to how the virus – and its ensuing quarantine – can change us for the better. Titled Not Going Back, the series has focused on ways we can keep from returning to behaviors that draw us away from God and his desires for our lives. Getting away from technology, spending time eating dinner as a family every night, playing games, and laughing together are all behaviors rediscovered through the quarantine. Families are finding that being together is making them stronger and drawing them closer to each other and to God.
They are also discovering freedom from traffic, rushing from one activity to the next, and overcommitting. It’s finally okay to sit, relax, and say no to distractions. And they are finding time to pray, reflect, and really delve into the Bible, all easy to push aside in the hectic pre-Coronovirus days.
Christian survivors of the virus have their own dramatic stories to tell about what they have learned through their ordeals. Marcos Zapata, a pastor and president of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance, shared his lessons:
- We are not invincible. None of us are immune to the effects of the world in which we live. When tragedy hits, though, Christians always have their faith to provide comfort and strength. We also have the body of believers who can come together in prayer that is magnified in its numbers, and the power of that prayer is unmeasurable.
- This is a time to reexamine our own lives. How powerful is our trust in God and are we really willing to relinquish all to Him? If we face sickness, misery, and fear, can we apply our suffering to help others who are also going through their own pain? Compassion is bred from our own hardships; that is how we develop empathy and are able to be there for others authentically.
Perhaps the greatest takeaway is that regardless of what happens to any of us as individuals, God will continue to be God, and that truly is the rainbow in the storm.