(This article was a collaborative work between Nic and his wife.)
Friday 13th March, 2020 is a date that will live in infamy. Already considered unlucky by some because it is a Friday the thirteenth, 2020 will be a year that history remembers as the year when governments like the Australian Federal Government issued out one of the strongest positions in the battle to save our country from the ravages of COVID-19, aka the Wuhan Coronavirus.
The origins of how Friday the thirteenth became associated with bad luck goes back to the 1300s. Did you know there is a specific term / phobia for being fearful of that date? Paraskevidekatriaphobia. The root words in Greek are “Paraskevi” meaning Friday and “dekatreis” for thirteen. One story tells of King Philip IV of France having used that date to arrest hundreds of Knights Templar… but culturally, the fear of this date is largely a 20th century idea.
The signs of panic are everywhere – people are buying toilet paper and stocking up on essential goods, schools are being shut down, businesses are shutting down because of the potential spread of the virus. In other parts of the world, the situation is worse – whole cities are being quarantined and even the nation of Italy is on total lockdown with health professionals forced to prioritise care for the younger and more likely to survive.
When I walked down the aisles of a supermarket, and when I see the shelves upon shelves that are empty as people have bought up the toilet paper, the hand sanitiser and whatever is available, it feels like it is the end of the world. People are anxious and are in panic because we are in midst of something that is beyond our control. There is no control over how the virus spreads. We try to contain the spread, which is wise and sensible, but ultimately, we have no control over the whole situation. The stock market is crashing, businesses are closing down, the whole economy is affected – the way that we socialize and work and do business and function has been affected by a tiny organism that is a virus.
Out of control
Many events have happened in this world recently, like bushfires, volcanoes exploding, and wars – things that are beyond our control. In our humanity, we like and try to be in control. We like to be able to know that things are going to be ok, that our future is secure, but it is in these times that we realize that we are not in control. I, for one, like to be in control and like to know that I will be secure. I like to plan things for the long-term and to have a back-up plan if things don’t go according to plan. I like to think about how my decisions today would influence the future, and I like to prepare for worse-case-scenarios. However, things that are happening in the world today are making me question how much control we, as humans, actually have.
He that is greater
The whole situation in the world is pointing out that we may be able to control some of the little things in life, but there are many big things in life, like viral infections, natural disasters, wars, economies collapsing, and the like that are out of our control. Thankfully, God is in control. God is in control of the good times and the bad times. As it says in the Bible, He even knows how many hairs I have on my head. He knows what the ending is to this story. He knows everything from the beginning of time to the end of time. Kingdoms come and kingdoms go, but He is always constant and is always present.
The great news is that for a God who is that magnificent, who is that BIG, who is the Creator of the universe and the One who controls everything, loves you and me. He knows everything about us and loves us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for us.
Because He lives, we can face tomorrow
We don’t know what is going to happen in the future, and the only assurance that we have is that we have Jesus and that those who believe in Jesus will have eternal life and be in heaven with God. Therefore, we don’t have to fear anything – not even death because death will only bring us home to heaven. So I’m pleading with those who don’t know Jesus to believe in Him so that you can be saved and be able to spend eternity our heavenly home with our eternal Heavenly Father who loves us so much.
Nic Lee works by day as a Business Analyst Consultant whilst, outside of business hours, maintains an IT support & website services business. He volunteers with 89.9 LightFM (Christian Community Radio). Nic has served for over twenty years in his local church, in worship, technology consulting, life group leading and event management.