Toilet paper shelf – empty!
Pasta – two small packages remaining on the shelf.
Hand wipes and Purell – someone told me yesterday that the whole country is out, that there is no more at this time. Not sure of the source of that information, but I’m certainly not finding either on shelves.
Kids’ Club, group events, travel, ministry trips, church services – canceled for the time being, until we learn more about the Coronavirus and its encroachment.
It’s hard to know how real, or how big, the threat is. Obviously, for those who are ill or have already lost loved ones, the threat is huge. Statistics say the flu kills a greater number of people than the percent dying of Coronavirus. Others say the coronavirus spreads exponentially and so, is potentially more dangerous.
Regardless, the fear is real. I read today that some people going to Costco were warned they need to wait 90-120 minutes just to enter the store.
So how do we respond with fear of this magnitude that is throwing our lives into all kinds of turmoil?
- We pray. President Trump has designated Sunday a National Day of Prayer. Let’s pray for those impacted directly by this virus, for wisdom for those in leadership and in medicine, and for this virus to end its scourge.
- Be wise in contacts, washing thoroughly, being in public places. When facing the Black Death, Martin Luther wrote words that are applicable today. Steve Clifford, Pastor of Westgate Church, posted these yesterday.
“I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely as stated above. See, this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.”Martin Luther, from his letter “Whether one may flee from a Deadly Plague” to Rev. Dr. John Hess
- Don’t panic. When we panic we can get selfish and buy up everything we might need, leaving little for others. At Safeway yesterday, I learned the truck was coming in last night at 10 bringing more supplies, including toilet paper! I thought of running there first thing this morning to amp up our stash, but we have three packages already. I stopped and thought “where is my trust? Is it in the God of the universe or in how much toilet paper, canned foods, etc. I have stored away?” I don’t take this threat lightly; at the same time, I want to trust my God rather than panic.
- We listen for where we can encourage or support others. Here are some scripture references that deal with fear (this list is by no means exhaustive!):
- Psalm 27:3
- Psalm 46:2
- Psalm 91
- Jeremiah 17:8
- I John 4:18
What are you doing to prepare yourself in this time of concern and caution?
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.Isaiah 41:10
Let’s be part of the solution, trusting God and remaining calm, rather than being part of the panic!