This is getting old, isn’t it? We’re getting weary of this pandemic, of having to isolate ourselves from our family and friends, of perhaps having lost our jobs and struggling to pay our bills, of maybe having had a loved one or friend pass away because of the virus, and of living with the fear and anxiety that ourselves or a loved could get the Coronavirus.
Several weeks ago one of our wonderful nurses at Kirkwood handed me a hand written note and on it she had written what I’m calling “Spiritual Guidelines for Staying Healthy in a Pandemic.”
I’m sharing them with you, along with some scripture, in this devotional.
1. First, make sure you test positive for faith.
Now, if we’ve been tested for the CV or some other health condition what we want to hear from the doctor is “negative!” We want to be “negative” for whatever condition we might be concerned we have.
But when it comes to our faith, particularly in such a challenging time, we want to test positive for faith!
As Psalm 121:1-2 declares: “I lift up mine eyes to the hills. From whence cometh my help? My help cometh from the Lord.”
And as we read in Proverbs 3:5: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and He will direct your path. ”
And as the Apostle Paul declared in Romans 12:12: “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
As we sing in that great hymn of our faith: “Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see: all I have needed thy hand hath provided – Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!”
2. Another key principle of staying healthy in a pandemic is to keep distance from doubt.
Now that doesn’t mean that we can’t have questions about what’s going on or wonder where God is in this mess. We are only finite humans and have limited perspective. As Paul said in I Corinthians 13:12, “Now we see only in part. Later we will see fully.”
But Paul also challenged us to let our faith and our trust in God to help us overcome that doubt. As he said in Philippians 4:6-7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Remember that wonderful hymn of our faith called “His Eye Is On the Sparrow?” As one of the verses puts it:
“Let not your heart be troubled, his tender word I hear, and resting on his goodness, I lose my doubts and fears; though by the path he leadeth, but one step I may see: his eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches me; his eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches me.”
3. And finally, the third principle to stay healthy in a pandemic is to isolate yourself from fear.
No question, there’s a lot out there to fear. But over and over, one of the most often repeated commands of scripture is to have no fear.
As we read in Psalm 27:1: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
And as Jesus shared with the disciples in the Upper Room, the night of his betrayal and arrest, in John 14:27: “My peace I leave with you. My peace I give unto you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
As the words of that great hymn of our faith, “Abide With Me” declare: “I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless; Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness; Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory? I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.”
And, friends, when we do all of that we can stay spiritually healthy and well! That doesn’t mean all of our challenges will go away. That doesn’t mean life will be easy. But it does mean that we don’t face them alone, that God is with us, and that He will see us through.
As Jesus declared in Matthew 28:20 as he was preparing to return to the Father, “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
I’ll close with one of my favorite poems:
“I do not know, what still awaits, or what the morrow brings;
But with the glad salute of faith, I hail its opening wings!
For this I know, that in my Lord, shall all my needs be met;
And I can trust the heart of Him, who has not failed me yet.”
May God bless us all as we try to stay spiritually and physically healthy during this pandemic!!!