Fresh Hope – 11th March 2020

The outbreak of COVID-19 (Corona virus) has sent the world into an embarrassing panic. I sympathise with the fact that lives have been lost, and vulnerable people (babies, the elderly, and people with weak immune systems), are susceptible to contracting the virus, IF they came in contact with it. 

However, more than the virus, the most frightening situation is the physiological state of the world. Something is wrong when shop shelves are stripped bare of one of humanity’s most mundane items – toilet paper! Yes, the stuff that wipes our bottoms! People are fighting over the white rolls, even pulling knives on one another for it, and at the very least, stockpiling it in their homes. All in case they are unable to leave their house due to Coronavirus! This is what fear does… It sends people to do crazy, irrational things! 

I believe, at its core, the reaction from the world is actually an issue of identity. When I say, ‘identity issue’, I mean that people have forgotten (or don’t know) to whom they belong. Fear is a lack of knowing God or trusting in God.

When you forget who your Dad is…when you forget who your God is… When you forget who is looking after you, it is easy for fear to take governance over your life. Here is what happens when fear takes over: 

You become irrational. Your sense of rational perspective is the first to go. 

Put aside the fear mongering headlines of the media. Let’s get some perspective: 

IF you do contact the virus, only 5% of the cases are critical. 

On the same day that 108 people in China died of Coronavirus, 26,283 people died of cancer, 24,641 people died of heart issues, 4,300 people died of diabetes, and suicide took 28 times more lives than the virus did! 

Christian or not, let’s use our brains and not take what the media says as gospel. The Bible is the higher reality and the higher truth in our lives. We stand on the word of God, not the word of the world. 

I will tell you what IS scary, that people live just one media report away from chaos, panic, and self-preservation. 

Crowds or headlines cannot pull our lives. Our minds and headspace must be rooted in the truth of God. 

Romans 2:12, ‘Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind’.  

You isolateFear will cause you to disconnect from others. It will cause you to lock yourself up from the world. It cripples your lifestyle and ability to have influence and make an impact. Rather than going out to change the world (as you have been called), fear shrinks your world down to the four walls of your home.  God has called us to walk in boldness and confidence, exercising authority over sickness. 

You fight for the crumbs … or in this case, toilet paper. As your world has become smaller, and self-preservation becomes your priority, you take whatever you can get. You will fight fiercely for whatever, fearful that you will go without…even toilet paper! You become desperate for paper that wipes poo! Now I can see why the prodigal son became desperate for a job cleaning up pig poo (Luke 15). He had forgotten about his Dad. He had forgotten who was looking after him! 

God has called us to live BIG lives, strong in faith, and generous in heart. Jesus set the standard of generosity when He gave His life for us. Meanwhile, we have people so afraid of lack that with a trolley full of toilet paper, they still cannot spare one pack for someone in need! 

It is time to show the world how it is to live fearlessly! We must trust that God, as our loving father, and as He says in Psalm 91, ‘will cover us and save us from the deadly pestilence’. His promise to us is that He is a refuge of safety.

Emma Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.