The world is in trouble. It’s cry has been heard far and wide. From archrivals China and America, to the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, to the Northern Pyramids of Egypt, and even to the depth of cold Europe — the cry is the same – the cry of coronavirus Covid19, and it’s deadly effects. What started as a Chinese disease has now spread all over the world, bringing with it fear and despondency, the shutting down of economies, the closure of churches, untold suffering all over the world as people, young and old, rich and poor The disease has especially been unkind to the elderly — in Europe and America – with many either sick at home or in hospital, living in fear of their lives, the fear of being hit by an invisible enemy, that lurks everywhere.
The world is indeed in a state of confusion, a state of chaos, a state of fear, a state of lurking death, a state where friends have becomes strangers, because of social distancing guidelines, a place where parents can no longer hug their children, without a stab of fear in their heart, the fear of infecting them. It has indeed become a world where people wash their hands in a frenzy, and wananchi walk around suffocating behind masks, as they go all out to protect themselves against theirs neighbors – protecting their noses and mouths (and almost covering their eye!) and looking funny and strange.
What is the proper Christian response to this chaos, evil and even death that has come upon us?
The truth is we are not the first people of God to face serious challenges and trouble. Job of old is our forerunner – a man whom God Himself could witness for him saying, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil” (Job 1:8).
In spite of this beautiful testimony from the Almighty this MOG had trouble came upon in full measure:
- His economy collapsed — when He lost all his property in the form of domestic animals to the Sabeans, the Chaldeans, and even to natural calamity in the form of fire.
- All his employees and labor force (servants) were killed by the attackers who plundered him.
- He lost all his children in a wind accident that collapsed the house they were feasting in.
- He himself was struck down by a disease, which was worse than covid19, resulting in “painful sore from the soles of his feet to the top of his head” (Job 2:8) which forced Job to take “a piece of broken pottery and scrapped himself with it as he sat among the ashes” (Job 2:9).
What is this Man of God to do amidst all this chaos, turmoil and pain – what is his family to do? What is our right attitude as Christians toward the trouble that has befallen all of us — both believers and unbelievers. Has God betrayed us?
The first attitude is seen displayed by Job’s wife (herself a believer in a God), a God made in her own image, not the God of the bible. Job’s wife believed in:
- An utilitarian religion – you only serve God so long as He reciprocates — by bringing you good.
- She appears to have been taught that God is there to make us rich – to make us comfortable – if he doesn’t do his part then you might as well curse him – meaning that you can as well tell him off.
- She was used a woman used to the good life, and believed that to be s part of her family’s inheritance from Almighty, an entitlement.
This is the reason that she was so surprised that her husband could still hold onto His God, yet this God had let them down badly as a family, in an unforgivable manner, “Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!” Here was a Woman of God (WOG) full of bitterness and anger, angry at the tide which theirs lives (as a rich respectable family) had turned into.
However, things were not like that with the Man of God Job. Here was a man who had his doctrine of God right. He believed in the God of the Bible.
After all the above calamities happened Job:
- Rebuked his wife, reminding her that it is possible for God to cause, or allow trouble to come upon His servants (Job 2:10).
- He was very careful to watch himself, so that he does not sin against God, through any reaction on his part to the trouble that had befallen them (Job 2:10).
- He bowed down and worshipped, in the midst of all his troubles (1:20) Job realized that the Almighty was still ruling on His throne, in spite of all the challenges that had come upon Him.
Are we going to be Job’s wife, or Job himself, in the face of all the troubles and challenges that we face today? Are we going to allow bitterness and anger develop within us, and thus give place for bitter roots of sin to encroach our hearts, or are we going to bow down and worship the Almighty? Are we going to be confounded by the effects of this virus, allowing ourselves to be disillusioned like Job’s wife, or are we going to realize all these things are part of God’s plan, to purify and perfect us as a Church, so that at the end we may say with Job “I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” (Job 19:25-27).
It is time to us draw near to Him, a time to worship Him, a time for us to allow Him to do His work in our lives, a time for us to count all the blessings that we have enjoyed from Him in the past, including the ones that we have been taking for granted all along. As the old song writer sung – we need to this time of the curfew and working from home to count all the blessings that He has given us, counting them one by one, now that the He has slowed us from our rat race. As the old song writer sung:
When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God has done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, see what God has done.
So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.
The choice is ours to make.