With so much bad news surrounding coronavirus, there is a paralyzing fear of the unknown as well as death that is upon us. It isn’t necessarily overwhelming police officers and other first responders, but loved ones who send us off to work.
There is an old story that has made the rounds. Two football coaches are evaluating college recruits in a one-on-one drill. The bigger recruit knocks the other on his can time after time, but the feisty athlete continues to bounce to his feet looking for more. One coach said, “I want the guy that keeps getting up. There is no quit in him.”
“I want the guy that keeps knocking him on his butt,” replied the second coach.
The law enforcement ranks are filled with both players. I know cops are concerned about the alarming trends, but as I’ve talked to family members I’ve discovered they are the one’s being frozen in place. Peace officers believe at their core they will survive.
Yet on occasion, we lose good people to tragic circumstances, and we need to deal with it. Now, with COVID-19 spreading rapidly, the levels of fear are elevated.
Police officers are courageous people. We need to disseminate our courage and confidence to family members in heaping doses. We need to assure them, regardless of the circumstances, we’ll fight through anything with a will to survive.
It’s a general principle of success that people usually achieve that which they focus on. However, it can work to our detriment if the focal point is negative. That is why one warrior can continue battling with severe wounds, while another person bleeds to death when he cuts himself shaving. The illustration is extreme, but it’s the self-fulfilling prophecy at work.
Stewing about doom and gloom is unhealthy.
It is unwise to offer spouses assurance that nothing bad will happen to their officer. That is not reality. But we need to remind them of our confident nature to perform our duty with measures of safety in place.
Stewing about doom and gloom is unhealthy. Naturally, I would like to encourage everyone to be in the right frame of mind regarding the business. That is one reason spiritual faith is so important to me.
If you find issues of faith offensive, STOP here. However, I’d encourage people to continue reading because God has something to express to each one of us.
If I walk through a door, I generally want to know what is on the other side. That is why I study the Bible. It is not merely an owner’s manual prescribing quality of life issues, but tells us what to expect once this life is over—part of the paralyzing fear caused by coronavirus.
Peace officers wear a badge on the uniform. It symbolizes the shield carried by centurions into battle to protect them from harm.
The Bible describes the armor of God, with the shield represented as faith. “In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one” (Ephesians 6:16 ESV).
It’s faith knowing that God guides the righteous who is combating evil, and even when the enemy (or a virus) takes out a warrior, the family of warriors are tasked with being God’s hands and feet. God can take tragedy and turn it to triumph when he becomes our focal point.
“We regard God as an airman regards his parachute; it’s there for emergencies but he hopes he’ll never have to use it.”
– C.S. Lewis
It’s a process that is difficult to explain in words, but I could line up a thousand testimonials with personal stories of despair that turned to comfort when people surrendered their will to God’s way and adopted an eternal perspective.
Isaiah wrote about this as he prophesied about the coming Messiah—Jesus:
“But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.”
Physical healing is secondary to spiritual healing. Think about all the people you know that have been healed. As a matter of fact, there have already been tens of thousands who’ve recovered from COVID-19.
The Bible documents many miraculous healings performed by Jesus. Yet, ultimately, everyone still dies. So when Isaiah wrote, “with his wounds we are healed,” he’s referring to our spiritual wellbeing now, and in eternity.
Suffering, in all its various forms, is a universal human experience. While reasons for suffering are often latent, there are many answers to how we can respond to the suffering of others. In times of crisis, the goodness of humanity rises to the surface and most people re-prioritize faith, family, and friends above finances, frivolity, and fun.
“We regard God as an airman regards his parachute; it’s there for emergencies but he hopes he’ll never have to use it,” said C.S. Lewis.
Moreover, Lewis, the famed atheist turned theologian reminds us, “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
During times of prosperity, we often erase God from our schedule. However, on occasion, he reminds us of our dependency upon him. There is a reason why people offer “thoughts and prayers” to hurting individuals during a time of crisis. It’s more than a saying, but a practical reality of belief and support during personal suffering.
While God is not caught off guard by our unbelief, he is purposefully pursing our willful spirit. He hopes we respond to his tender mercy, since life on earth is temporary, and eternity is the next chapter. Furthermore, through free will he’s given us the ability to participate in authoring our destiny. He’s calling, but do we respond?
“This too shall pass” has been a phrase used over and over. That is because throughout history, perilous times come to an end followed by a new season in life. Nevertheless, we still need to live in the present. Consequently, there is no better time to seek God’s answers for our life.
For those that continue to physically suffer on earth, there is a healed body in heaven awaiting those who place their faith in Christ Jesus to be their savior and Lord in the here and now.
With thoughts and prayers,