As drought recalls the goodness of rain, so a pandemic draws our attention to the goodness of our heavenly Father. Amidst confusion and uncertainty, the pandemic brings the stark contrast of good and evil before us with renewed intensity (John 1:5). In instances of suffering, scarcity, and solitude, signs of His goodness rise sharply to our awareness, prompting us to be grateful like never before (Psalm 50:15). In at least four ways, the pandemic powerfully points our minds and hearts toward the goodness of God.
Scarcity caused by the pandemic reminds us of the blessing of His provision. The current situation we may find ourselves in reminds us of His goodness in the past (Matthew 6:31-32, Luke 12:24). Most of us have never seen empty supermarket shelves or unstocked pantry items, but scarcity heightens our awareness of His providential care. As we trek from store to store in search of supplies, we are reminded that God is able to meet our needs (Phil 4:19). In the midst of want, we remember not to panic, but to trust in the one who owns it all (Psalm 24:1). The pandemic reminds us that God is our provider.
Similarly, solitude caused by the crisis reminds us of the blessing of His fellowship. The widespread closures and quarantine directives caused by the virus remind us of the comfort we often draw from others. God has lovingly placed us in families, both biological and spiritual. When we are cut off from social interactions we realize how God has blessed us with people to share life with. Loneliness reminds us that He never quarantines Himself from his people (Hebrews 13:5). We need not socially distance ourselves from God during the pandemic; He is close to those who call on Him (Psalm 145:18). Even as we sit in solitude, unable to leave our homes, he will draw near to us (James 4:8). The pandemic reminds us that He is our ever-present father (Psalm 145:18).
Likewise, the threat of disease renews our gratitude for God’s blessing of good health. God originally intended mankind to enjoy perpetual good health without sickness or disease but Adam’s disobedience brought sin into the world and the creation was cursed (Gen. 1:31, Genesis 3). Adam and Eve were driven from the garden subjecting mankind to physical decline and death from that day on. But our hope is not diminished! God loves us in spite of our fallen condition and cares for us (Romans 5:8, Galatians 2:20). In confidence, we can turn to Him in prayer for protection and physical healing. Good health is a gift from God and He is able to maintain it and restore it, if not in this life then in the next (Matthew 4:23-24, Revelation 21:4). Coronavirus reminds us that God is our healer.
Thankfully, the pandemic does not determine our eternal destiny. It is true COVID-19 can harm the body, but it can’t harm the soul. The absence of a cure for Coronavirus points us to the only cure for mankind’s rebellion against God: the gospel of Jesus Christ. God has given us bread from heaven that gives life to the world; Jesus is that bread (John 6:32-35). Eternal life awaits all those who have repented of their sins and placed their faith in the Lord Jesus (Romans 6:23). In scarcity, solitude, and sickness, our malevolent, microscopic foe ironically reminds us of God’s goodness and points straight to the gospel. In spite of a worldwide calamity, we can join in the Psalmist’s proclamation:
bless the Lord at
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together!
the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.