Constantly occupying some part of everyone’s brain at the moment is concern regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19). Should I be afraid, should I stay calm, and more importantly can I get a refund on any of the 4-years’ worth of toilet paper I stocked up on?
As Christians who believe in the sovereignty of God, it can be easy to steamroll the situation and say “Be calm. God has everything in hand. To live is Christ, to die is gain.” Of course, those things are true. But I would like to add and reinforce another theme from Bible.
God knows that he will work all things for the good of those who love him. But he still also cares and comforts those who suffer in this age, before he brings about complete restoration in the next.
In this we think about Jesus in John 11, who promised and knew that Lazarus would rise from the dead (v. 23). He said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” (Luke 11:25-26). Jesus knew that Lazarus would be alive again in a matter of minutes. Standing at the entrance of the tomb, Jesus called Lazarus out. The dead man rose back to life and walked out of the tomb. Jesus’ glory was revealed.
Nevertheless, upon going to the tomb Jesus was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. When he saw the tomb we read, ‘Jesus wept.’ (Luke 11:35). Even the crowd could see that Jesus loved Lazarus (v. 36).
What is my point? Jesus was completely confident in his own sovereign power to raise Lazarus from the dead. Yet he still was grieved over the sickness and death of his beloved friend. He was not callous in his confidence, but caring.
Like Christ, let us be both confident and caring. God holds his people securely through life, sickness and even death; and at the same time, we are to love, care for, and support those who are afraid, lonely, sick and grieving.
– SAM PURSELL