Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19) – Uncertainty of Life

March 23, 2020

 

The Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19) is a serious problem that took the world unawares, and by the time the world knew it, everyone seemed to be running for their lives. As at the time of writing this article, over 300,000 cases of infected people have been confirmed, worldwide. There could be more cases that are not officially known, particularly in China, North Korea and Iran where information coming from these quarters had not been that reliable. Over 10,000 people have been confirmed dead. Prime minister Merkel of Germany fears that two thirds of Germans could be ravaged with the disease; and Italy has been completely shut down not only for fear but for the death toll staring grimly on the nation. The daily death toll in Italy has risen to about 800 people in twenty-four hours. Italy’s experience is a warning to the whole of Europe and the rest of us that we are truly not in control of our world; and only with the help of God can we take decisive steps to stem the tide. A few months back, some politicians and people of varying political persuasions were wishing that the economy of the United States of America would collapse just for their political interests to be actualized. It is not funny if their wishes came true and they are complaining about it- a case of “be careful what you wish for…”. Coronavirus is a plague and a litmus test of our resolve to deal with the uncertainties of life.

The United States of America has lost over 200 people to the plague and has over 14,000 confirmed infected cases. Thanks to Providence, the situation could have been worse with higher fatalities. In the past three years, politics has turned America into a war zone in pursuit of political power. And the power we struggle for, which has destroyed our human relationships, is for a limited time. Those who held such powers in the past are now a mere memory. The damage we Americans have done to ourselves has given room to enemies to enter the nation and do harm. It has gotten to a level in which we do not care what happens to our society if only for us to cling to a temporary power. The adage that “He whom the gods want to kill, they first make mad!” is almost true of politics in America. The country was filled with the impeachment debacle between the Democratic and Republican parties in the last quarter of 2019 and there was fear that by all unorthodox means, political leadership in America could change. You can imagine the confusion the nation would have been thrown into if President Donald J Trump was successfully removed from office, which would open the nation to a new, sudden and unprepared leadership to face the turbulence we now face in the world. If impeachment had thrown the United States into a new or void leadership landscape, the entire country could have been totally engulfed with the pandemic.

You may not like Trump but the President appears to be destined to deliver the nation from COVID-19. He began his political journey with the commitment to putting China in check over trade malpractices and deceptive processes with America. Past American leaders have managed relationships with China and Russia with kid’s gloves mostly to the detriment of American interest. It is ironic that while the devil had turned Americans against each other for political reasons, Satan was busy putting together the great annihilation strategy of countless lives through coronavirus. Sure thing, that the continuous prayers of God’s people saved America. The United States of America is and will always be in the eye of the storm because of the strategic position the nation holds in world affairs. In my book “Saving America – the war you can’t ignore”, I stated that the fall of the United States of America or erosion of its super power may spell doom for the rest of the world. Several nations are envious of America. China and Russia in particular have not been comfortable with the leadership role America plays in the world. They have made attempts either through election interference or trade malpractices and stealing of America’s intellectual property to bring America down and take her place. It is like a battle between light and darkness; evil and righteousness. The truth is that these nations who plot to be world leaders do not appear to have the heart to improve the world but to dominate and tyrannize humanity. Whittling down the military and economic power of America and her world influence, as it appeared was done in the past administration in America, is not only against the interest of Americans but may be detrimental to the interest of the world, particularly the vulnerable groups of the world – the Christian community and the less privileged. If America loses its place and position in the comity of nations, the world will be opened up to abuses of communists’ totalitarian rule as currently in China and Russia. There is also high probability that if America loses her position in the world, the terrorist nations and groups who are currently being put in check by America’s presence would become emboldened to openly destroy human dignity anywhere in the world.  Such a development could be worse than coronavirus.  

The coronavirus pandemic saw many people- Chinese-Americans, the Italian-Americans and other nationals running back into the United States of America. The truth is that most of them did not do so to hurt America but because they believed the best place to run to in the face of this kind of difficult situation was America, as the country would do everything to save their lives. And they are right. America was founded on the milk of kindness and mercy towards others, particularly those who genuinely need help and support. The USA, a nation founded on Judeo-Christian principles would do anything to help others who are in trouble. American character is based on the doctrine that Christians are called to follow in the steps of Jesus Christ who had suffered for them and given them an example to follow in His steps. The United States of America has been instrumental in the hands of God to stop many disasters that could have destroyed the world – the second World War could have lingered with more lives lost but for the decisive actions of American leaders. The world had almost lost the battle for lives and human dignity to ISIS until God brought Trump into the scene to save the situation. America therefore, has remained the hope for help to the rest of the world in times of need. However, American leaders cannot throw up everything to others at the expense of American citizens. The prompt intervention of Trump’s administration to reduce the number of persons who knowingly or unknowingly were infected with the virus and were running into the United States of America therefore appear to be divine to save thousands of Americans who could possibly have been wiped away in a swoop by the virus.

What about Coronavirus? It is a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases including respiratory blockage and shortness of breath. The common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. The infection may result in pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and ultimately death. There have been health recommendations to prevent the spread of the infection which include regular hand washing, covering one’s mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs, and avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing. The pandemic is unique and new as experts are daily studying situations as they unfold in affected nations to make up what steps to take to avert the danger of the virus. Though, health experts say the virus is not in the air but its pandemic nature has not been fully and precisely clarified by anyone. The HIV/AIDS of 1981, which ravaged millions of people all over the world, was linked to blood contact and narrowed down to sexual promiscuities. Those who could discipline their sexual behavior were almost spared of the troubles. The Ebola virus outbreak was mainly confined to Africa, and the other parts of the world were spared of the trauma. The World Health Organization has officially declared COVID-19 a Pandemic with worldwide victims. Most colleges and highly rated universities in the United States have shut down, and have scheduled to run remaining classes remotely. Some planned graduation ceremonies have been cancelled.

The economy of nations is being seriously affected with the stock market tumbling in reaction to the situation. In the US, many companies have placed most staff on remote working. Some offices are closed and it is feared a prolonged situation may necessitate organizations to start laying off staff. People, who have been driven into panic, are fighting for essential commodities in stores such as, cleaning materials, bathroom and paper towels as well as food items. In Costco, Walmart, and other groceries stores, there is an unbelievable scrambling of people struggling to buy things. It is as if the world is going to end at any minute. Ironically, if the world is ending, the corners of our houses are not a safe haven. The world must recognize that the issues in Coronavirus appear complex as no one, not even the experts, understand what it is all about, other than that the virus came from China. For those who have a discerning spirit, it was clear that this pandemic is more spiritual than what we see physically. It is an invisible enemy fighting the whole world. That was the wisdom in the declaration of President Donald Trump and his call for prayers to God to fight and conquer the evil of this deadly virus. I was glad to know that a big cross section of Americans heeded the presidential call for prayers. If there is anything that the world needs to combat this powerful issue snuffing life out of people, and in these times, it is definitely prayers - calling on the Creator of heaven and earth to show mercy on us.

Nothing else will work like prayers. If prayers do not work, then the world is doomed. I doubt in my lifetime if there has been any evil that has gripped the world and created such panic as the Coronavirus; and it will disappear soon because people of God have prayed and are praying, Amen. Americans may have turned away from God for the god of politics, but we can return and God is always prepared to forgive and heal us. – “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land”. (2 Chronicles 7:14). The big lesson of Coronavirus is that the Bible will always be true. Let God be true and everyone be a liar. Coronavirus may be new to many but certainly cannot be new to those who read the Bible. The Bible told us to be prepared for these kinds of calamities in these last days, as we prepare for the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. A cross section of Americans whose idols have been commerce and dollars cannot understand it. The Bible tells us that the words of God are foolishness to those who do not know God. The cares of the world seem to be uppermost in the heart of an average American businessman who cares only about business returns and not their nation. Several businesses in the past were moved to China at the expense of the American economy. The ravaging virus has shown clearly that though it was a profitable move then, it has become a dangerous decision both for America and the world. It became an issue to get supply of goods from China when the virus broke out which has indirectly hurt the American economy. One of the main focuses of the Trump administration is on how to wrest from China the continuous attack on the US industry and technology and stealing of America’s intellectual property.

President Trump has been criticized by his political opponents for taking bold steps to correct not only the trade imbalance but also to ensure that America’s initiative was not robbed away from America. The founding fathers of America were not known to have used ungodly means to promote their nation’s growth. They relied on God and with hard work built a God-fearing nation that would prosper politically and economically. That was why they publicly declared, “In God we trust.” The Psalmist said: “Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat-- for he grants sleep to those he loves. Those who think that the United States of America became a world leader by the power of man are in ignorance. America has always faced tough times but they never last, as tough times have always given way to better times in America. There has been a struggle by people of ungodly culture to remove the glory of God away from America. They have attempted to stir away the hearts of young Americans from godliness which is the major pillar of any successful society. The first lesson from the coronavirus issue is for the Church in America to wake up from her slumber. The church should not participate in political maladies, but rather seek to reform the society towards godliness. All the prophets of old in Israel – Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Jonah, etc., were raised up in their days to speak against evil and ungodly leadership. American Christians must stand in unison to rebuke the hands of Satan over America.

For these past few weeks since the outbreak of the virus, the gospel of Christ is being impeded all over the world. America as a major promoter of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in the world, has been overwhelmed with the uncertainties brought about by the present epidemic, as it has created huge distractions. The usual support of missionaries all over the world has depleted as a result of the pandemic. If not for technology, the preaching and teaching of the words of God and fellowship could have been completely hindered. The biggest warfare of the pandemic fueled by ungodly promoters, is fear. Fear is the greatest enemy of faith and of human progress. Fear has driven the world to an extreme panic, and even Christians are facing a great challenge in expressing their love as they are taught to. We barely trust God now because our hearts are filled with fear. Witnessing and propagation of the gospel has been slowed down. Brethren can no longer share their burdens because fellowships have become virtual. Those who would have cared have been overtaken with fear of the virus. Christian conferences and seminars have been cancelled and it is certain that much needed private counseling must have suffered setbacks because it is fearful to pay close up physical visits to others. Satan has succeeded in using the arsenal at his disposal to create fear in our hearts and minds. In addition, fear has become a lending hand for the virus to thrive as it leads to human stress, an enemy of peace of mind and the direct work of Satan. It has made individuals to be scared of even themselves.

David the Psalmist passed through these paths when he summed up his assurances in God in a psalm: “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. …He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.  You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.” Psalm 91. The road to the world’s recovery is for those who truly trust in God to rise and rebuke the spirit of coronavirus to disappear from our societies in the name of our Lord Jesus, the name above every other name. Standing together as the body of Christ will stop this pandemic or any other evil from controlling our world. The grace of God is immeasurable and His mercy is inexhaustible. There was a time in the lives of the Jews when they disobeyed God and opened the door for Satan to buffet them. They wandered in the wilderness in a desolate way; they found no city to dwell in. They were hungry and thirsty, and their soul fainted in them. But then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and the Lord delivered them out of their distresses. And He led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city for a dwelling place. (Psalm 107). May we all rise up today like David to call upon the Lord, and to experience and testify of God’s deliverance, and be able to say - “I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.  He freed me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4; that is only sure way for coronavirus to stop dominating our lives.

 

Will your anchor hold in the storms of life?

 

We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Savior's love.

Robin Mark

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