"Lord, Don't You Care That We Perish?"—Thoughts on the Coronavirus
Today the world has become so uncertain. We have no idea what tomorrow will bring. Fear has gripped our souls. Well, we are not alone, for even the disciples of Yeshua felt that way. Let's take a closer look at this story.
Mark 4:35-41 tells us this story: "On that day, when evening came, He said to them, 'Let us go over to the other side.' Leaving the crowd, they took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him. And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. Yeshua Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, 'Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?' And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, 'Hush, be still.' And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, 'Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?' They became very much afraid and said to one another, 'Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?'"
The fact that the Scriptures tell us a storm arose tells us that out of nowhere, without their knowledge, a wind storm came upon them. Of course, they did what they needed to do to keep the boat from sinking, but when they realized they were going to sink they thought to themselves, "Does He not feel the waves?" "Does He not hear the waves crashing against the boat?" "Does He not hear us crying out in fear?" "Doesn't He care?"
So they asked Him, "Don't you care that we are perishing?" Is this not what we do when things arise in our lives? We are filled with fear and anxiety, not knowing the future, but all we can see is the storm before us. As soon as the boat begins to rock, we ask, "God don't you care that I am perishing? You must see me? You must know what is happening and yet You do nothing about it."
What was Yeshua's response? "Why are you afraid?" What did Paul tell Timothy? Paul records it in 2 Timothy 1: 3-7, "I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day, greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy, when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also. Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." Timothy was afraid for Paul, and Paul tells him that he was praying for him because of his tears. Paul knew that deep down Timothy had faith, but only needed to be reminded that being afraid was not from God. "Timothy, I tell you God has given you power and love and a sound mind" (some versions say "and discipline").
Isaiah gives Israel a message from God In Isaiah 43:1-4, "But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel, 'Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I have given Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in your place. Since you are precious in My sight, since you are honored and I love you, I will give other men in your place and other peoples in exchange for your life.'"
God did not leave us defenseless in our times of trials and temptations. He loves us and cares about us too much, for He said He will never leave us or forsake us. Storms are going to arise in our lives, and most times we will not see them coming, but we should not be caught off guard.
Today, we say we have an invisible enemy, a virus, but as believers in the Messiah, we already know that our enemy is invisible. We know that he can strike at any moment, but as good soldiers we must always be ready to fight the good fight.
Today, everyone is putting on a mask, but as believers we must put on the armor of God. We have the shield of faith, we have the sword of the spirit, the Word of God. Our mask is the helmet of salvation. Prayer is our covering.
What did our Messiah do when the disciples came in fearful and panicked? He stood up! This is the time we must stand up. We are believers. We are the light to the world. God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power. Yeshua rebuked the wind and so must we.
Psalm 91 tells us, "You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day; of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or of the destruction that lays waste at noon. A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not approach you. You will only look on with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. For you have made the Lord, my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place. No evil will befall you, nor will any plague come near your tent. For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, that you do not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and cobra, the young lion and the serpent you will trample down."
We have the power to speak to that mountain called Coronavirus and it must flee. We can trample down our enemy, the devil, who brings such things our way. But we have the power of Almighty God within us, "For greater is He who is in us than he who is in this world." We get our marching orders from our heavenly Father, the creator of heaven and earth. We are not of this world. We live in this world, but we are not of this world. Our Father, who is in us and who loves us and cares for us, has surrounded us with His angels, and our lives are in His hands.
Fear not! Time and time again God's people have been afraid, but we read in John 20:19-20 this: "On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the disciples had gathered together and locked the doors of the place because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Yeshua came and stood among them and said to them, 'Peace be with you.' When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord."
People, let us arise and stand tall, letting our light shine in this darkness with peace in our hearts. Let our faith be bold because we know who we serve, and yes, let us rejoice, because our Savior has given us the victory. He has risen and we must too.