“Did God send the Coronavirus?”
This was a question someone recently asked me last week as she was processing how to make sense of the times that we are in. I have a strong suspicion that she is not the only one thinking this as the world attempts to manage the spreading of the virus by practicing social distancing and quarantine protocols.
The effects of the COVID-19 have altered many of your lives. You might be working at home or have your job postponed as you are reading this. Minimizing trips outdoors and not having the items that you need (toilet paper has become like gold!) is a stark reality. Perhaps you have not seen your loved ones –friends and family alike – due to the restricting nature of physical contact. Online applications are useful for connecting with one another but does not satisfy the human longing of meeting face to face, let alone a touch or a warm embrace.
With all of these immediate changes thrusting us into a new rhythm, it is quite understandable to look upward for the answers. Foremost, did God send this virus upon us? My purpose in writing today is to help you make sense of what we are facing, from a theological viewpoint.
1) IT IS A PERSPECTIVE OF JUDGMENT
When someone asks a question like this, they are ultimately asking if God is bringing judgment upon the world. Surely, each of us will give an account before God (Romans 14:12). When this world fades away, … “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2 Corinthians 5:10). Again, the judgment I am referencing to here is when heaven and earth pass away, as mentioned in Revelation 20.
Many individuals might think this ‘judgment’ is here because of the worldwide pandemic we are facing. I would have to disagree. The COVID-19 might be the beginning of “birth pain” – hardships, wars, and natural disasters all leading up towards the end as described by Jesus (Matthew 24:3-8). Yet this is not the finality of life as we know it. The Lord will get us through it just as He has done through other various wars and diseases humanity has faced in the past.
2) IT IS A MATTER OF THE FALL
It is most helpful when we remember that the nature of humanity is sin. When humanity disobeyed God in the garden, their consequence was sin and death. Their choice set a final precedent for all humanity to be subjected to sin, including all of creation. Romans 8:18-22 speaks further on this:
“Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” (NLT)
While it’s easy to point the blame at God for the virus, the blame began with us before the virus begun. The world has had horrific wars, deadly diseases, and natural disasters as a result of the falleness of creation. While it may not be correct in saying that humanity directly started the virus, we realize that these types of devastating disasters have come since the world is subject to sin because of humanity.
3) IT IS AN INVITATION TO SEEK THE LORD
No time is better than the present to seek the Lord and to ask that He would destroy this virus, quickly and completely in Jesus’ Name! God wants a relationship with us and we should cry out to Him when we are in need, afraid, or sick.
Have you ever realized that prayer is an invitation to change the status quo? That is, if you do not like a present reality, you ask the Lord to change it. God is inviting you to make a difference in this world by praying that the world will be healed from this virus. Do you trust in God to come to Him? Do you believe that He hears you and wants humanity to be freed from this virus?
4) IT IS A TIME FOR REFINEMENT, RENEWAL, AND REVIVAL!
Do I believe God sent the Coronavirus? No.
Do I believe that God could use this for His glory? Yes.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28
Like all trials, struggles, and weaknesses, the Lord can bring upon good results even through something as horrible as this virus. I have witnessed this in many ways already. Many Christians are digging deeper with God by reading their Bibles. Small tokens of kindness, such as delivering baked goodies to first responders, touched their hearts like no other time. Others who do not know God are open to spiritual conversations and buying Bibles like never before! (see link below). Churches continue to meet online, worshipping together despite the physical distance. Others are reevaluating their priorities now that many events, meetings, and outings have slowed or stopped.
God can use this for refinement – ridding you and me of the distractions and the busyness that once consumed us.
God can use this for renewal – a fresh awakening in your life for God’s love and purposes.
God can use this for revival – a returning of His people so that His presence dwells in every area of our life, thus affecting the lives of others.
While we may not like the situation that we are in, are we willing to ask the Lord what He wants for us in this time? Will our new rhythm consist of knowing Christ more? My hope is that this post helps you process further about your relationship with the Lord and, ultimately, your choice in what you can do now.
Have a blessed week!