Right now, the world's gaze is riveted on COVID-19. And understandably so. It's a deeply serious global pandemic. And yet as people of faith, we are challenged to seek another perspective. We know that God saw this coming and that He has promised to bring good out of painful situations for those who love Him. But what good can come out of a pandemic? Through the many crises I've faced in my life, I've learned to go straight to my knees to ask God, "What are you doing through this crisis? What is your perspective on it?"
I feel like I've barely begun to understand how He might be working in the midst of this season, but one thing I have seen - He is deeply impacting hearts and minds.Market and Research Consultancy Anstice released a study at the end of March which found that Canadians are hoping to be more caring, compassionate and giving in the aftermath of the pandemic. It found that 27% of respondents, even including Generation Z (people born between 1997 and 2012), are indicating a renewed sense of religious faith amid the crisis. Founder and Chief Strategist of Anstice, Sheenah Rogers-Pfeiffer, said, "These findings show that COVID-19 has turned the indulgent consumer culture of yesterday upside down and on its head. We appear to be moving into a far more compassionate and kinder society." Yes! Things are shifting in our hearts and minds!
Another news article mentioned that medical staff are meeting together to pray before their shift - something that never would have happened before this pandemic. (Read the article here).
I myself had an encounter with a hospital doctor over the phone. I told him that I was praying for his safety and that of his family. This previously unemotional doctor became choked up - and stayed that way for the rest of our conversation. He is on the front lines of an invisible war. The evidence is irrefutable and I see it everywhere. Prayer calls are being issued. Faith leaders are repenting of pride and division. Thousands join conference calls to fast and pray.
On my social media feed, I see people talking about spiritual things at levels I've never seen before. Facebook - which has been criticized by some for censoring religion - asked me to post a prayer on my profile today. As followers of Jesus, we need to understand that even as great fear is rising in the world, so is many people's desperate need for God. Prodigals right now are returning home to their faith. Many are encountering God for the first time. Those who had a faith are digging deeper into their relationship with God to find much needed peace. This is a time where everything in our world that can be shaken is being shaken: our trust in our money, our status, sports, entertainment, career, healthcare, travel - even our lives. And God's heart is wide open to every one of us, calling us home to Him in a new way. There is one story happening in the headlines, but there is entirely another story happening behind the scenes. It is a story that will impact eternity.In the midst of this pandemic, we need to remember that God is right here with us.
Isaiah 41:10 tells us, "Do not yield to fear, for I am always near. Never turn your gaze from me, for I am your faithful God. I will infuse you with my strength and help you in every situation."
His help is just a prayer away. Even if you've never known Him or been distant with Him, He is as close as your next breath.
Pray with me right where you are: "God we are in perilous times. Times we've never seen before. But I know you are with us. Let your presence fill this room right now. Come into my heart. Forgive me for the mistakes I've made and the ways I've ignored you. I've depended on so many other things for security. But today, I realize you are my only security. Calm my fears and bring me peace. I commit to follow you in new ways this day. I'm making a fresh start with you. In Jesus' name, Amen."
If you prayed that, God will be faithful to walk with you every second of this journey. You are never alone. And anytime you need someone to pray with you, our prayer lines are open 24/7 at 1-866-273-4444. We are here for you.