Words of Reassurance

Ps 91:3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
    and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his pinions,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
5 You will not fear the terror of the night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
    nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.

9 Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—
    the Most High, who is my refuge—
10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
    no plague come near your tent.

Don’t know about you, but when things begin to get a little hairy in my life, I always find comfort in the Almighty’s holy word. Above is an abridged version of the 91st Psalm. Read it through twice, and now take a moment to give thanks to the Lord for his wondrous protection. My mantra in times of crisis is, “God is sovereign in all things and the future genuinely come together for good for those who love Him.” Amen and amen!

Media, unfortunately, surrounds us twenty four seven. We are barraged by folks trying to get our attention with the most outlandish headlines they can devise – all for market share mind you (not necessarily the truth). If one stops to breathe, for just a moment, and truly survey the landscape, you might start asking yourself just what the hullabaloo is about. Not to say what is going around can’t be harmful – my father-in-law is very much an at risk individual with chronic respiratory problems, but his usual routine lowers the possibility of infection. He is a prudent person, as we should all be at this moment. As I shared with a session member yesterday morning, the 2017-2018 flu season in the US had the highest mortality rate ever: over 80,000 people lost their lives. Strangely, nothing was shut down then. My wife posted a Ron Paul video yesterday as well on Facebook, where the good doctor explained how 1.7 million folks died this last year from Tuberculosis worldwide. Nobody is decimating the toilet paper aisle with that news. Yet we are shutting down our entire country because of roughly over 100 deaths nationally, and about 8,000 deaths globally. Remember, the US has a population of 330,000,000 and this big blue marble has close to eight billion people. Percentage wise, those infected are representative of a ridiculously minuscule portion of all of humanity. Compare this to the Spanish Epidemic of 1918, or the Bubonic Plague of the Middle Ages (which took out a third of Europe’s people), we are in far, far, far better shape. Think about hygiene then and now; it is an entirely different scenario.

Rather than being consumed by fear of the unknown, and inwardly focused, let us look outward and pray for those around us. Ask for the Lord’s healing mercies on those already dealing with the virus. Pray for those in our community who will be severely impacted economically by the current quarantine. There are a lot of restaurants and taverns in the area, with many employees, who could really use our prayers. Pray for the medical professionals, and testing facilities to be able to address what comes. Lift up all businesses which have the potential of being adversely impacted by these government orders, because this will trickle down in ways we haven’t imagined. Pray for our country and those who lead at all levels of governance. Hold up you fellow brother and sister in Christ both in our congregation and beyond. Make calls to friends and family to encourage, enjoin in prayer, and praise God for the blessings he continues to provide. Ask those within our body of Christ who are homebound, or physically struggling, if they need help in any way. We are a family of God, and we will get through this as a family who loves one another. Your ruling elders are plugging for you too!

Oh yeah, call me if you need prayer (251-295-4600), a visit, or just someone to be a sounding board. Jesus continually reassures us by saying, “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Hold to His promise. We will use the internet to continue Sunday services while things are in lockdown. They will probably be a Reader Digest Condensed version, but it still allows us the blessing of worshipping as His people. Check our website for information (http://christalonechurch.org/).

Meanwhile, keep the faith. As trite as this sounds, the Lord is our rock when uncertainty abounds. Remember David’s wise words: Psalm 34:4  “I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.” Could not have said it better myself…

In His love,

Pastor John