Many within our government, media, and healthcare organizations have used the term pandemic to describe our surroundings; to describe our lives during the spread of this Coronavirus. Most often, these talking heads use the word as a noun, but pandemic can also be used as an adjective to describe an illness or other health-related issue that covers a broad range of geography and a high proportion of people. No matter your thoughts on COVID-19, Wuhan, conspiracy theories and all the rest, the influence upon our daily lives has been staggering. I believe we could be justified in ascribing the word pandemic to our change in lifestyle, not just the symptomatic results of a virus upon a physical body. In the United States, what was once a bustling economy and a very busy way of life for its citizens has now come to a dramatic pause that has only ever been fantasized about in books, movies, and television shows.
Authorities have labeled our church identity and efforts as "non-essential" in recent days. We have a difficult time understanding how abortion clinics and liquor stores could be labeled as "essential" while Bible-believing churches are told not to assemble. In a minority of locales across the country, there have been verified stories of uniformed officers arriving on church properties to disband services. Moreover, while the unthinking reactions among us would be one of incredulous disbelief, a God-fearing individual would have to wonder exactly what the results of this pandemic will be upon the Lord's work.
As many of us are given time to meditate, reflect, and consider the environment in which we live, I believe we must take spiritual inventory. James 4:9 declares, "Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness." The context of this verse concerns the need for believers to get close to the Lord and to humble ourselves before Him. As a member of the First Baptist Church of Milford, Ohio, it is my belief that God has set us aside to champion such work as Bible translation, publishing, printing, and distribution. God has set us aside to influence a great host of believers to carry the work of the gospel and the Word of God to untold billions around the world. For the Lord to use us collectively as His church, as a member of this body, I must be living for Him each day. May we humble ourselves, weep, and mourn when we draw nigh to the Lord and see God for who He is as we read in Isaiah. May each one of us say, "Revival begins with me and not any other."
Written by Dan Jessup