From Weldon French, Associate and Legacy Pastor:
I felt a bit down last Monday. At first, I didn’t know why. But after talking with Shari, some thought, prayer, and Bible study, it finally dawned on me. I was thinking this Covid19 mess was slowly ebbing away. Then last weekend, it began to increase rapidly. The reality of the situation hit me. This is not over.
There have been other periods of my life that were difficult. I can see how God was with me and helped me to grow in those “droughts”. This pandemic will not be different. The problem we all face right now is not knowing how long it will last. But we never do. God does know! He will be with us through the whole time. And He will redeem the pain we feel with spiritual growth.
So, what is a Christian to do? Where is my faith when facing a long-term problem? How can I balance faith and caution?
Is wearing a mask a sign of little faith? It occurred to me that I have worn a face mask and rubber gloves when I apply weed killer or pesticides over the years. Never once did that cause a crisis of faith. Of course, it was the logical and careful thing to do. I don’t see a difference in wearing a mask to protect me from an invisible virus today. It is not a sign of small faith. It is a sign of using the brain God gave me. Besides, I don’t just wear it for myself. I wear it to protect others as well. Almost every week a medical professional tells us another new way this virus can hurt certain people. Or we learn how it can attack a different organ of our body than previously thought. My mask may be life-saving to someone who is vulnerable to this particular virus. Our entire church culture for many years has been to consider others before ourselves. Wearing a mask for the protection of others fits into our church theology to “Love Your Neighbor”. Would you wear a mask if you knew it would prevent someone’s death? What about preventing a severe illness for several weeks? It really is a very small inconvenience when the benefits are weighed.
But, what can I do with all these conflicting and depressing thoughts in my head? One of the Bible studies I read last week was called, “Get Out of Your Head”. It challenged me to ask, “What are your thoughts?” “What does God’s Word say about those thoughts?” And, “Will you choose to believe those thoughts or God’s Truth?”
Here is scripture to answer those questions:
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
To sum it up:
Pray about everything.
God will give you His peace.
Think about good things.
God will give you His peace. (Yes, that is promised twice!)