Much To Be Proud of During Virus Especially In the Holy City
By: Jeff Walker
It's easy to say 'this too will pass'. Four very simple words that speak more positive than relative. But for Christians, like our faith and hope in eternal life, the current pandemic is just another condition or uncertainty where we place control in God's divine providence.
Our associate pastor reminded our congregation through a recent online sermon that the darkest time in history is not now, but rather the first Easter, when Jesus Christ, the son of God, a man blameless and devoid of sin was crucified for the sins of all mankind.
Why was the earth darkened in the middle of the day for three hours. The answer is simple, because Jesus was taking on the full measure of sin, past, present, and future. It was the darkest time in the history of mankind and here on earth. I would add that during His time on the cross, the light of the world was being snuffed out for a short period. But His light shone more bright when Jesus emerged victorious from the grave.
To be the very son of God and take on that responsibility is inconceivable. Yet the only way for mankind to be restored, and have a right relationship with the Creator, was for God to provide a savior. The scripture backs it up whereby Jesus says "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes unto the Father, except through me." John 14:6.
Those who don't have a right relationship with God will always question why things such as the Coronavirus has plagued the world. Could God have prevented it. The answer is yes, because He is all powerful. But Christians know, God did not cause the virus to happen, rather it is our own sinful nature that has caused this and other pandemics to rise up.
Man's sinful nature and abuse of God's will causes all the bad in the world. God simply allows it to happen. God by His very nature is good, so He cannot bring about evil. God's word further says, "He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust”. Matthew 5:45. The mere fact that we know Him, and have a right relationship with God does not preclude us from the bad that will happen here on planet earth.
Consider this, close to three million people die every year in America. Fifty percent of those deaths occur due to heart conditions and cancer. What makes that equally disturbing is that many of the untimely deaths are brought on by lifestyle choices, ie over-eating, excessive drinking, and smoking. On the opposite side of the equation, roughly 55,000 people die from flu related illnesses.
Think about this as well, during the Civil War over 600,000 Americans, including 20,000 from South Carolina lost their lives. Close to the same number of Americans died during the 1918 Pandemic (H1N1 virus) aka the Spanish Flu. Keep in mind a century ago we didn't have near the medical advances available to us in 2020.
Is the current COVID-19 pandemic the darkest time in history. Consider all the plagues, famines, and world wars we have survived. For the Jewish community the Holocaust is no doubt the darkest time in their history. In America for the nearly a decade (1930's) we survived the Great Depression. September 11, 2001 was another dark time in American history.
With all that in mind, crucifying Jesus has to be the darkest moment in history. However His resurrection has to be the greatest time in history, whereby it provided mankind salvation and restoration with the Father.
Closer to home I am ever thankful to live and thrive in Charleston, SC aka 'the Holy City'. I have often said that when God expelled Adam & Eve from the Garden of Eden, He took a chunk of the garden and placed it here in coastal South Carolina, and it became Charleston. While God does not favor any community over another, He has certainly blessed the Holy City.
Our ancestors rebuilt the city after the earthquake of 1886. We emerged stronger after Hurricane Hugo in 1989. What I'm most proud of is that with the civil injustices occurring over the past five years, including the tragic AME Church shooting, Charleston has remained a beacon of hope and community for the rest of country, and the world to witness. Three F's define the low country, 'faith, family, and fortitude'.
Most of us don't understand God's will. Many more fail to accept God's will. All I know is that God is good, and He will bring about good through all that is happening in the world today. Hopefully more who are lost will discover Him. Others may need to rededicate their lives to Him.
We already see and have become witness to God's grace during the pandemic. Families, neighborhoods, and communities are becoming closer together even through social distancing. Death whether timely or untimely, affecting young or old is sad. Our days are numbered here on planet Earth, and what we choose to do with our time is what is most important.
I urge everyone to pray for our leaders, those in the medical profession, our first responders, our military, and those working behind the scenes to maintain any sort of normalcy to our daily lives. Are we all connected on planet Earth. You bet we are. Pray for your family, friends, neighbors, and pray God will deliver us from this current oppression. But keep in mind God is in control.