These are days that test us, but….

I suppose it is fair to acknowledge that these are, indeed, scary days, but, your perspective in how to react is based on your worldview, and/or, your God view. 

As of the date of this writing, 13 March 2020, my wife and I had been discussing the issues over the previous few days, just as I suppose many other couples were doing as well. We despise the regular negative messaging; however, our worldview is not impacted by fears of getting sick, while being respectful and vigilant about not wanting to infect others. Do we think that the Corona Virus is real and is impacting people’s lives? Yes, of course. Are we concerned about our health? Not really. Why? Because of our God view – a view based on, and under, the New Covenant; and the fact that my wife is a health food “expert” who has been keeping our house regularly stocked with goodness for several years. A healthy diet will help your immune system; both the Bible and science tells us this. 

Though we are not concerned about our health, this does not mean that we aren’t following protocols; of course of we are. But the protocols being espoused by the “experts” are activities we have tended to do anyway; hygiene is standard for us, so our lives have not really changed. If we should happen to get sick, we know where we stand under the cross; while we don’t ignore it, we also don’t fear it. 

The other day I had posted a verse from Leviticus (Lev 15:13) about the washing of hands in order to preclude the spread of disease. This was a worldview perspective about proper hygiene and medical protocols, yet, some felt that I was neglecting a correct God view, where we acknowledge what we have because of the cross under the New Covenant. While I can see how me sharing the verse might indicate I was failing to accept and receive the healing grace of Jesus Christ, that was not my intent. While I do receive and accept the New Covenant, I do not believe this means that we should stop washing our hands and practicing safe protocols – a worldview. 

OK, so… the supply chain and economic news is “not cool”; but what can we do about it? Not much, but we can pray – fervently. Is this “chaos” cause for panic? The chaos is manmade; therefore, in our minds, no. Does this mean that we should not do some things to prepare and plan? Of course we should, and we are. But we also rely on the Lord’s grace and guidance while also operating under confident expectation with our hope placed in Him that we will be taken care of – one way or the other. 

So…sure, we agree that these might be frightening times, but your reactions to it depend on your worldview and, more importantly, your God view. Therefore, pray!

Disney has decided to close ALL theme parks around the world. The US Stock Market has suffered its worst losses since the 1980’s. Sports venues are cancelling games, tournaments, and events. Restaurants and bars are closing out of fears of adding to the spread of the virus. These are facts that even hard-core Christians cannot dispute; we are witnessing things that we have never seen before in modern times. But, does this mean that we should operate in a state of fear and panic? I don’t think so, but this is due to our God view. If you do not have a God view, then you may be operating in a state of panic because you are dominated by your world view. 

One psychologist notes, “Fear influences how we react to media coverage of health hazards. The most severe levels of contamination fear are found in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Approximately 50% of people with OCD have a fear of contamination from dirt or disease that causes them to wash and clean compulsively.” In times of anxiety, we tend to pay more attention to threat-related information, impacting our world view, which drives up our anxiety and distress. Therefore, pray!

A heightened worldview (which is prioritized over a God view), creates a “bias for threat” – meaning we expect the worse – which can actually intensify our reaction to this disease or any other disease, also leading to increased panic. Panic is “an irrational fear reaction that, by definition, your body’s reaction and adrenaline response takes over from your ability to rationally evaluate the situation.” There is an appropriate response to fear, a response that is vital not just for our psychological wellbeing but for our physical health as well. Therefore, pray!

Noted clinicians tell us that stress causes our bodies to produce greater levels of the hormone cortisol which can cause anxiety and depression, which further leads to elevated inflammation that will compromise the immune system. This leads to even more levels of exaggerated stress. Unmanaged stress decreases the body’s white blood cells that help fight infection. The lower your white blood cell (lymphocyte) level, the more you are at risk for viruses such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. 

The main way we relate to information about the world is through “feelings and gut intuitions”; therefore, it is vital that we maintain a positive God view (spiritual view) while simultaneously paying attention to objective medical advice and practical steps that we can take today. Pray!

And it is absolutely paramount that we turn to resources that can provide a level of peace which we cannot otherwise produce ourselves. This is available via a positive and accurate God view…and prayer. 

76 percent of doctors say they believe in God. A God view, an active Christian faith, has been proven to uniquely help in times of crisis such as the current coronavirus pandemic. Your belief system, with heart felt faith, that Jesus does answer prayers, that we ought to accept His invitation to trust Him with our fears, and that there is power that comes from submitting to the power of God, is indicative of the relevance of the hope that is found in Jesus Christ and the Christian community.

Unfortunately, there are some that believe that a God view like this is irrational, that we cannot place faith in Him and must place our faith in science. I would argue that we should choose both. It is a mistake for scientists to discount God’s wisdom, just as it is a mistake for Christians to discount scientific wisdom; God uses physicians in His continued ministry on earth. He calls physicians just as He calls ministers and pastors. He uses the expertise of both to advance His healing ministry in our broken world. Let’s pray for them, encourage them, and follow their guidance. 

He calls each of us to use our gifts, abilities, resources, and influence, in proactive ways, as he leads and empowers us. People may be more open to their need for God now than they were a month ago. They may be more aware of their mortality and limitations. They may be more willing to seek help. And they may be more open to our witness and compassion. 

The coronavirus pandemic is admittedly unique and frightening, but it also presents a unique opportunity to take Christ to a frightened culture. There is a worldview, but there is also a God view, the view of a God who wants to redeem this physical threat for eternal spiritual good.