Early this week, I received an e-mail from a friend of mine from the Democratic Republic of Congo (Africa) sharing what is going on about the coronavirus in the country. He wrote:
“Our country (The Democratic Republic of Congo) is in the process of bringing an end to second largest outbreak of “Ebola” in history. Although not hit as other countries around the world, the country has had to pivot from one infectious virus to another. Note, as the writing of this message, there have been 88 confirmed coronavirus cases, eight (8) deceased and two (2) recovered. The country’s health infrastructure is meager. Our government has declared a state of emergency in its fight against coronavirus here. Like everywhere in the world, schools and churches have been closed. However, we have no online services so that people can worship together. Other orders have been put in place as well. We will now to see if it will be enough.”
“The fact that our people seem to be contagious before they show symptoms makes it even harder to contain the virus. In the crowded capital Kinshasa, a city of 11 million people, where many struggle day-to-day for survival, social distancing is an alien phenomena. We are anxious. We are afraid and worried. We do not know what is going to happen next. Please pray that this passes quickly. Know that we are also praying for you in the United States as you face this crisis,” he said.
As this Congolese friend, many of us are afraid and fearful at this difficult time. We are hopeless. Sometimes, we let our fear of coronavirus be bigger that our faith in God. However, I know one thing. As we endure quarantines, closures, and even panic during this time of coronavirus, God offers peace. His Word can displace anxiety and fear with hope and healing.
Jesus is described as the Prince of Peace. In John 14:27 He says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let you hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” Isaiah 41:10 also says, “Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you.” At last, Paul says, “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
Dear friend in Christ, stop letting your fear of COVID-19 be bigger that your faith in God. We just need to rely on our faith and take precautions. We need to take precautions and continue to live our lives.
Pray and wash your hands. Amen.