Yet, God is still active in the midst of the pandemic. One of the important ways God is working in our world is through the ministry of chaplains all across the United States.
Christian chaplains are sources of comfort for those being treated in medical settings. As the North American Mission Board notes, Chaplains remind those being cared for that “God is still in control! (Psalm 46, 91; Isaiah 46:8-10).”1 The kind voice of a fellow Christian can remind those who are suffering that they are not alone.
Chaplains are being utilized in conjunction with the National Guard in order to provide assistance to American communities.2 In many cases, chaplains have access to patients who are alone and in desperate need of emotional and spiritual support. Restrictions intended to reduce the spread of COVID-19 often limit the ability for families to visit their loved ones during hospitalization.3 Many of these restrictions are applied to chaplains as well, though regulations vary amongst health networks.4 Where chaplains are permitted to meet physically with COVID-19 patients, they provide vital spiritual care. Chaplains also minister to patients through phone calls and online meeting platforms.
How much of an impact can a single chaplain have? The North American Mission Board has chronicled miraculous stories detailing the immense impact that a chaplain can have in their community.2 One person can reach hundreds of others for the gospel.
The grace of God is capable of working effectively through the efforts of his people. The Apostle Paul credited God’s grace for supplying the necessary power for his ministry:
For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.5
Christians should be encouraged that God has placed his people in the midst of even the most difficult of situations. Chaplains are ministering to those with COVID-19 for the glory of God. Take heart that God is still at work in proclaiming the gospel in the darkest of places.
1. The COVID-19 Pandemic. Southern Baptist Convention Chaplaincy.
2. Elrod, B. Southern Baptist chaplains join National Guard COVID-19 deployment. Baptist Press. Posted on bpnews.net March 31, 2020, accessed April 20, 2020.
3. Whyte, J. No visitors allowed: We need humane hospital policy during COVID-19. The Hill. Posted on thehill.com April 2, 2020, accessed April 20, 2020.
4. Jackson, G. P. Hospital Restrictions Bar Chaplains from Ministering Bedside. Christianity Today. Posted on christianitytoday.com March 25, 2020, accessed April 20, 2020.
5. 1 Corinthians 15:9-10.