BSK student, Arthur O’Bannon, wrote the following piece as a part of his Pastoral Care and Counseling class at BSK. In this piece, Arthur responds to the COVID-19 outbreak. Read Arthur’s piece below:
I am writing this letter after being inspired by our Pastoral Counseling class on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. The Word of God has the ability to affect people in that way. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has in some ways forever changed the way we as a world operates. In some ways, COVID-19 will be another historical marker. But I am reminded of someone else who made the greatest historical marker over 2000 years ago. Our Savior sacrificed His life so that we could have eternal life. (John 3:16/NIV) Without His death and resurrection we would still be lost in sin. As believers in Christ we have an eternal Hope that can never be taken away nor will it die. He has called us to be Holy and provided instructions throughout The Bible. (1 Peter 1:17-25 & 1 Peter 2: 1-3/NIV). We must trust God not just during the difficult times but at all times. “No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Joshua 1:5/NIV) Just as God was with Moses and Joshua, He will also be with us, and He will guide us through the difficult days ahead. “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want.” (Psalm 23:1/NIV) I cannot think of anyone more qualified to do the job, to lead us through this crisis!
I find it interesting that COVID-19 is upon us just before Psalm Sunday, Good Friday, Holy Thursday, and Resurrection Sunday (Holy Week). I want to be clear I am not saying that God is using COVID-19 to hold people or countries accountable for their sins. We may never know why COVID-19 came to be but we all can agree it has forever changed our lives. More importantly, we must not dwell on the why but press to how to survive and be an example in Word and deed. Let us look for ways on how to help others as God would want us to do. To be our brothers’/sisters’ keeper, and show the love that God has given each of us to pass onto others. I pray that this pandemic will not consume or overwhelm you but draw you closer to God, and allow your faith to reach others for the cause of Christ. Let us show love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19/NIV)
I want to confirm that no matter the situation or circumstance our God is still in control. God is never slack on His promises, and he will always do what He said he will do. And for this cause we can trust God to do the impossible! Stand up stand up for Jesus ye soldiers of the cross; lift high His royal banner, it must not suffer loss. From victory unto victory His army shall He lead… Is there a believer in the house that can testify that God is a Leader, Provider and Promise keeper?
‘He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.’ (Psalm 46:10-11/NIV)
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose… Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:28, 35-39/NIV) This is one of my favorite scriptures, it shows the power of our God, and confirms that nothing can separate us from God.
COVID-19 has made the body of Christ be creative in finding ways to conduct our services. From social media, telephone calls (the old fashion way), texting, and video conferencing God’s Word will go forth. The people have a desire (hunger) to hear and learn the Word, and God will provide. (Matthew 5:6/NIV) We shall always find comfort and direction from God’s Word.
Finally, I would ask that you think about your favorite scripture(s) and share it with someone. We need positive thoughts and actions to encourage one another on this faith journey. We must rely on the power of God. During the days ahead, I pray that you will depend on God and His Word more than ever before. May you find strength, comfort, healing, and much more? To God be the Glory for the great things he hath done.