We are in the midst of a pandemic. As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads, people are facing a multitude of decisions affecting lifestyle, work and economics. How do we pray, and how do we respond during such a time?
Esther and Joseph found themselves facing crises in their countries. Both were used by God to save many lives.
Esther was faced with the possible extermination of her people, the Jews. She prayed and fasted, getting others to do the same. Then, she risked her life to enter the presence of the Persian king and God worked through Esther to save the Jews.
Joseph was in Egypt as a slave and spent years in prison. Then, Pharaoh had a troubling dream and God gave Joseph the interpretation. He subsequently became second in command to Pharaoh and wisely coordinated storage of food during the seven plentiful years. In the seven years of famine that followed, Egypt had enough food for their own country and for other countries.
Both Esther and Joseph’s first response was to acknowledge God and wait on Him. Esther ordered a three day fast. Joseph told Pharaoh, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.” (Genesis 41:16)
Both Esther and Joseph showed leadership and responsibility. They didn’t just share an opinion or idea, they worked to make real changes in their countries and their actions saved lives.
How can we apply these principles to the COVID-19 pandemic our countries are facing today?
Do not fear, but wait on God. We don’t need to panic and spread fear. Instead, trust that God can bring us through this time. Pray for peace, for leaders to be wise in their interventions, and for people to be protected.
Lead and be responsible. As witnesses on earth, we are also equipped for every good work. We have the word and promises of God to strengthen us, and His love and compassion to share with other. We also have wisdom, understanding and practical opportunities. During this time, we can support our leaders and our communities by taking action. This includes social distancing and obeying government regulations such as instructions for self-isolation, and bans on travel and large gatherings.
Faith is demonstrated in practical living. So let us pray, and also act to protect our community and save lives.
“… let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
Here are some helpful links:
- COVID-19 pandemic: how to stay calm and look after ourselves and others. I wrote this article to include an explanation of terms and some credible resources.
- The Pandemic of Panic. Dr Bo Wong addresses how we might live as Christians and doctors in this time.
- Calm and Compassion amidst the Coronavirus Pandemic. Dr Peter Wark gives historical and statistical insight, along with a reflection on how we can maintain courage and faith.