Coronavirus (COVID-19) is no surprise to God. God knew about this pandemic before the dawn of His creation. Some people may question why God allows such suffering, but let’s not forget that pandemics are just another symptom of a greater disease: sin.
Pandemics such as these are ultimately a result of living in a sin-cursed world after the Fall of Man in the Garden of Eden. While many of us may be distressed and frightened during this season, what if we refocused instead on the positives that we might otherwise overlook?
First, as the virus spreads, the gospel is also spreading. Many, if not all, churches have had to close their doors due to shelter-in-place orders. But, as the saying goes: When God closes a door, He opens a window. In this instance, a browser window. Many churches are turning to services online, including my own church. I have enjoyed watching my Facebook feed fill with my friends’ various online church services each Sunday. In addition, these online services are also filling the Facebook feeds of non-Christians. These services are being broadcasted around the globe. Yes, the coronavirus is spreading. But, as a result, so is the gospel, and during a season when some might be more receptive to the gospel than ever.
Second, individuals are spending more time with their families than they might have in years. Many schools are closed, and many parents are working from home, while others are homeschooling their children. This extra family time is allowing for more face-to-face conversations, contributing to creativity to combat cabin fever, and encouraging us to enjoy creation as we spend more time outdoors together.
Which leads me to my final point. Third, for the first time in a long time, instead of more screen time, children are becoming bored with being cooped up inside and are playing outside more than customary. Adults and children alike are going for walks and exercising outdoors. More people are spending time in God’s creation, and perhaps seeing it with undistracted eyes, and therefore appreciating it now more than ever.
While a pandemic is never a good situation, we’ve seen it happen time and time again that God has a way of creating good out of bad. Joseph illustrates this point in Genesis 50:20 when he tells the brothers who mistreated him years earlier, “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.”
In the midst of suffering, let’s remember the God who entered into suffering Himself,1 and can bring good out of any evil.2
1. John 1:14
2. Romans 8:28.
*Sarah St. John is Accounts Receivable at the Institute for Creation Research.
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