As we weather this corona virus pandemic, I have already seen some good things coming out of it. Neighbors are finding creative ways to encourage others from a distance or provide assistance. Some are literally putting their lives on the line through their jobs. And some of us are also seeking Biblical guidance when faced with difficult decisions. (I will share two personal examples of that shortly.)
In all of this, it is crucial that we don’t judge others in the decisions that they make. We don’t understand their circumstances nor their motives. Only God does. Our role is to extend mercy, grace, hope and help as we feel led. Each of us must follow our own conscience. If we can learn to extend mercy rather than condemnation, good will have come out of this.
I will share some Scriptures that have helped me in my decision making, and share some of the decisions I’ve been wrestling with. But first, let’s look at what we know about the corona virus. We’ve been told by the experts that the virus can live for up to 14 days on metal and plastic surfaces. That means, whether we shop online or at the grocery store, chances are high (apart from divine intervention) that we’ve brought the virus into our homes. We’re being encouraged to isolate as much as possible and sanitize as much as possible in order to slow down the spread of the virus to where hospitals can adequately cope with it, and allow researchers time to create a vaccine.
Now, let’s look at some Scriptures that apply to those of us who are followers of Jesus Christ.
1) We are told not to be anxious but to trust God. (See Philippians 4:4-7). Supernatural peace comes with trusting God. The Lord is bigger than anything we’ll face in this life-time. I must seek His will and then do what I think He wants me to do.
2) We’re told to obey our authorities (as long as they don’t contradict God’s commands). (See 1 Peter 2 :13-14; Romans 13:1-5; Acts 5:29). After seeking God’s will in prayer and surrendering my anxious thoughts to Him, I need to consider what my government leaders have to say. For example: If they tell me the parks and beaches are closed, I stay out of parks and beaches. If I’m sick, I will do my best to self-isolate until I’m healthy.
3) Wives are told to submit to their husbands as unto the Lord. (See Colossians 3:18 & Ephesians 5:22). As long as my husband is not breaking the Lord’s commands, I should respectfully follow his lead. I may share all my thoughts and feelings with him, but if I’m not sure what to do, or if we can’t come to an agreement, then I should follow his lead, trusting God.
So, what does this look like in my life? Here are a few situations. My 71 year old husband is in remission from cancer, but he still goes for monthly immunotherapy treatments. As a result, he has a compromised immune system.
Decision #1: We have a 39 year old disabled son named Shon who lives two blocks away from us. He has between eight and nine helpers who provide 24 hour care (they do not live with him). He also has three roommates (renters). It isn’t hard to see the virus risk factor in that household. Question: Should my husband and I go there?
When one of the roommates couldn’t fix a light bulb that had broken off in its socket, I left a desk lamp on the table for him to borrow. But my husband, Tom, decided to go over and fix the problem. A few days later, Tom decided to go over and clean our son’s very dirty bedroom floor.
Up to this point, I was trying to find creative ways to encourage our son from afar. I started a text message grouping with our children and us to share jokes, I encouraged Shon to share music with us via internet, and we had phone calls periodically. But I knew Shon was really missing his chiropractic and massage appointments, which offer him physical relief, as well as going to movies, church, etc. (We encouraged him to be respectful of his helpers’ feelings re: where he goes.) I was trying to be protective of my husband, but my heart also ached for my son. Once Tom decided to go over, I decided to follow his lead. I’ll do my best to give our son a massage when I’m there (although my 70 year old hands aren’t the strongest) and teach his helpers to play some simple board and card games that they can do with our son. We won’t go there regularly, but compassion compels us to go there sometimes. We will trust God and accept whatever happens.
Decision #2: I have been praying about whether to go to my dermatologist (to have a growth removed), to my gynecologist (for my routine care), and to my eye exam. I decided that if their offices are open, and if I’m healthy, I will go. (I will also go prepared to share the gospel, as led.) All of those appointments are in April and my husband is leaving those decisions up to me. As of this writing, I don’t know how those will play out. I will continue to pray for guidance right up to the date of each appointment and trust God to be clear. (See James 1:5-8).
You might handle these situations differently, and I respect that. I will leave all judging in Jesus’ hands. He alone is perfect and all-knowing. These are challenging times and we’re going to be facing many difficult situations. May we pray for, and encourage, one another while doing our best, and keep trusting God in the things we have little or no control over.
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.