So we’re in the middle of this coronavirus thing (2019-nCoV), and it’s pretty safe to assume if you’re human you’ve had two things on your mind. One, am I going to get it? Two, if I do get it, will I survive or die? Despite the fact that it sounds like a pretty miserable way to die on the scale of the millions of things that can snuff out life, one good take away from the virus is that it’s getting people to think of their mortality. Seem morbid?
Well, as much as most of us would prefer to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thess. 4), the fact is most, if not all, reading this article are going to die somehow, someway, someday. Here in the West, especially, death is something we really don’t think deeply about. Of course if it’s to a political/power/financial advantage our culture loves death (abortion anyone?). My experience after years of doing street evangelism is that when you ask someone the simple question of, “What do you think will happen when you die?” Most give me a look like why are you asking me this, and say, “I don’t know, I’ve never thought about it.”
Yet when you’re sharing the gospel, this is the very thing you want people to focus on. If you’ve ever reviewed the major worldviews, you can conclude that whatever x individual thinks about death affects how they presently live their lives. For example, it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise if you caught any sort of nihilist eating, drinking and being merry. Since death is basically nothingness, the time to live and enjoy stuff is now.
However from a (real) Christian’s point of view, that lifestyle is kept in check. Sure it’s ok to have fun, but we know that every moment counts for eternity, and that when we die, we will be held accountable for every thought, word and deed. Thankfully we’re forgiven for the sinful parts (Ps. 103), but it keeps us in check. Even though we won’t be judged and sent to hell, our works will still be judged and the godly ones rewarded (1 Cor. 3).
Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. — Ps. 139:16, ESV
So when I was praying today in the shower (one of my prayer closets) I was thinking the two aforementioned thoughts in regards to the coronavirus, followed by an extended think tank into the fact that my life is so fragile and there’s about a billion ways I can die at any moment. And that the only reason I exist from day to day is because God gifts me each day. He gifts everyone, believer or not, each day they survive (Lam. 3).
What did reflecting on this truth of God do? It brought me hope and peace that I can completely rest in God’s sovereignty of when/how I’m going to die (Ps. 139). It also brought me thankfulness for the day I just had. I actually got up early on a Saturday (miracle of itself) and got my meal planning AND grocery shopping done for the week. Plus I managed to clean, dust and vacuum the office (even though I jammed my shredder that my husband now has to fix with needle nose pliers (thanks Pig :*)), and vacuum the hallway and stairs while seamlessly keeping myself and baby fed and happy. Pretty mundane, but thankful nonetheless.
While we’re certainly thankful for the big moments in our life, most of our days are lived out in small, unnoticeable, repetitive actions. Hence why it’s easy to lose sight of the gift each and every breath of our life on earth is. So thank you coronavirus for inciting scary thoughts that the Spirit used to point my mind to my Maker. I once heard about Christians singing while they were being boiled in oil somewhere out East, and there was nothing for my mind to grapple on in order to begin to understand or relate, except in a few points… Thankfulness+Joy+Contentment in Christ = Boldness to face death in whatever form it may come in for me (Heb. 4).
*Photo by Alera Ruben from Pexels