Like everyone else in our nation, a lot has changed in our household in the past few weeks. For instance, we now have what I refer to as the “Pandemic Town Crier.” This would be my seven-year-old son who has taken to keeping track of our toilet paper supply and hollering out at random times, “Seven rolls lee-eeft!” These updates tend to incite a certain amount of anxiety in me. I’ve gone from being someone who waited until we had half a roll left for the entire family to a person acutely aware of the amount of Charmin we have.
One night a week or so ago, my sister texted to tell me Menards had some in stock. I hopped in the car first thing the next morning, seized by something of a Black Friday mindset. Would there be any toilet paper left? Would I have to take the last package away from someone else? I was in the middle of assessing the amount of traffic on the road ahead of me, pondering how many of those vehicles could be on the same mission as me, when I spotted something that put life into some much needed perspective.
Alongside the road were several small bodies of water, little ponds surrounded by wild grass. That morning, these ponds were filled with geese and other small birds, just like they always are when winter thaws and birds return to Minnesota. And just like always, the birds were content to enjoy their small place in the world where everything they needed was provided freely by their Creator. Immediately, Matthew chapter six came to mind, a beautiful section of Scripture that reminds us not only does God know our every need, He also promises to provide.
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?… Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
We are all reacting in different ways to this pandemic, but one thing remains the same. Peace in these turbulent times doesn’t come from the number of toilet paper rolls on the shelf, the amount of food stored in the pantry, the reserves in our savings account, or the CDC statistics for virus survival rates. True peace comes from a faith that doesn’t wax and wane when these things do. True peace comes from trusting our Heavenly Father to keep His promise to provide for our every need.
This is really good news in a time when we can all use some really good news! Pandemic faith is no different from regular faith, because it doesn’t rest in fragile circumstances that quickly change from one moment to the next. It rests securely in the power of the unchanging Triune God, who planted that faith in our hearts and sustains it through His Word.
I admit that I am often scared or worried about what might happen in the coming weeks or months. I’m tempted to find security in material things. I’ve gone so far as to imagine how I will care for my family in the event that God “drops the ball” and I’ve got to take over. When these thoughts and feelings arise, I know it’s time to go back to His Word and read what He promises to do for me, and to know that He is not capable of breaking those promises. It’s time for me to look at the miraculous and fantastic ways He provided for His people and believe He does the same for me. It’s time to look at the whole story of Salvation, from start to finish, and marvel anew at the perfect way God fulfilled the greatest promise ever made. Is it possible there is more to the COVID-10 story than meets the eye? Could it be meant for something more?
As this pandemic has opened my eyes to some of the things I rely on instead of my Heavenly Father, it has made me face some unpleasant things. It’s revealed some idols that were competing for my Savior’s place in my heart. As I ponder these things, and remember how God promises that all things work together for good to those who love Him (Romans 8:28), I can’t help but wonder.
Could Covid-19 be for the saving of more souls?
Could it be for the saving of mine?