There is a lot of uncertainty right now. Our church has suspended services for the last two weeks of March, as have many other churches in America. The anomaly is the church that IS meeting for Sunday services.
In addition to that, people are being told to stay at home, not going out more than they have to. Restaurants are shutting down their dining rooms. Fast food restaurants are offering drive-through service only.
When we go to the store, it’s almost impossible to find some necessities. If they are in stock, they’re of limited availability.
So, what do we think in all of this? What should our response be in times of trouble?
As I sit and ponder this, I’m reminded of some of the great heroes of our faith. I keep thinking back to the story of Daniel. Daniel was a young man, probably a teenager, when Israel was conquered by Babylon. Daniel was taken captive, and shipped off to Babylon. This was customary at the time—a conquering army would often take the best and brightest of a population and relocate them to their own nation. So, Daniel was taken captive to a strange land.
Over 12 chapters, we read the account of Daniel. Daniel was tempted in many ways to doubt God. It would have been easy for him to decide that God had simply given up on him and the rest of the nation of Israel. But we read in the first chapter that instead of feasting on the good and rich food that was offered to him, he ate foods that were Kosher, allowed by God in the Mosaic Law. He would not dishonor God by setting aside his convictions.
Throughout Daniel, we read of his steadfast faith. We see him refuse to bow to idols. We see him refuse to bow to a maniacal king. We see him give glory to God. We see him face certain death several times. But he never gave in.
In chapter 6, we read that an official proclamation by the king was made that anyone worshiping anyone but the king would be executed by being cast into a lion’s den. Daniel could have relented. He could have lost faith, but he refused. He was found to be worshiping God, and the sentence was carried out. He was cast into the den of hungry lions. After spending a night in the lions’ den, Daniel was found alive and well the next morning. Daniel’s response to the questioning king was “My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths”.
Our God has not been caught by surprise by the COVID-19 virus. He wasn’t surprised to see it spread across borders. Our God is not wringing his hands wondering how he will deal with any crisis. He does not know what a crisis is – as he is never out of control. When things looked bleak, Daniel did not lose faith. He knew God had a plan and a purpose for what was going on. We can also have that same faith. We know that God is in control. We know that God has been faithful, and we can know that God will continue to remain on the throne.
So what should our response be? It should be to trust God. It should be to know that regardless of what happens in the next few weeks, our God reigns. We can trust him and we can know that whatever happens, it’s according to his will.
And he is good.
Does that mean we will not face any trouble? No. But it does mean that he loves and cares for us and he is with us in this time.