"Great earthquakes will occur in various places, and there will be famines and pestilence. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. ... When these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, for your redemption is drawing near" (Luke 21:11, 28).
COVID-19, otherwise known as the coronavirus, has created national fear in a way I have not witnessed in my lifetime. As of this writing, ball games are being canceled, theaters are shutting down, schools are closing, travel is restricted and the stock market is on a crazy, wild rollercoaster ride. It's almost as though our nation is being attacked by an invisible enemy seeking to destroy us.
While my age and recent chemotherapy put me at risk, I am more concerned about the fear the coronavirus has provoked than I am of the virus itself. We seem to be caught up in a national panic.
As I reflect on all the above, I remember the words of Jesus. He warned us that at the end of time there would be pestilences. In the last few years, we have endured SARS, the swine flu, ebola, avian flu, MERS, West Nile virus and now COVID-19. Could this coronavirus be one more sign that our redemption is drawing near? Is the end in sight? Is Jesus coming ... soon? If so, is fear the proper response?
When Isaiah's life was shaken, he responded by looking up (see Isa. 6:1). As a result, he had a fresh vision of the Lord. This is the time to look up ... from our knees! Let's ask God to give us a fresh vision of Himself.
"God is our refuge and strength, a well-proven help in trouble.Therefore we will not fear" (Ps. 46:1-2a).
"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.' Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the hunter and from the deadly pestilence. ... You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day; nor of the pestilence that pursues in darkness, nor of the destruction that strikes at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not come near you" (Ps. 91:1-3,5-7).
This is a time to pray for ourselves, our families, our nation and all those worldwide whose lives are being devastated by the death and disruption this disease is causing. You and I need to make sure we are right with God so that we are ready to meet Him whenever the time comes. And then join me in helping someone else get right with God. Let's pull out all the stops as we tell others that it's possible to have peace in the midst of the storm and confident hope for tomorrow, claiming Jesus' promise: "Remember, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:20).
Anne Graham Lotz, second child of Billy and Ruth Graham, is the founder of AnGeL Ministries and former chairman for the National Day of Prayer Task Force. She has authored 15 books, including her new release, Jesus in Me: Experiencing the Holy Spirit as a Constant Companion,
This article originally appeared at annegrahamlotz.org.
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