When my beloved aunt passed away, Corona was still a beer, and Wu Han was a Chinese historian/intellectual whose 'purge' was one of the opening shots of China's infamous Cultural Revolution.
For various family reasons, my Aunt Marjean's memorial service was delayed for a few weeks—a few weeks in which the world turned upside down. The family asked to speak at the memorial and, I had agreed. Doing so meant a 500-mile trip from Middle Tennessee to Charlotte, NC, and back. But Marjean had been very special and influential in my life. I wanted to honor her memory. A few years had also passed since my North Carolina family had seen Caleb, the 15-year-old precious grandson my wife Charlotte and I have raised since he was two.
By the time the weekend of the service approached in mid-March of 2020, Covid-19 had escaped Central China. The world whispered the word 'pandemic.' What should we do? What we did do was pray and place the trip before our Father. And what appeared before us almost everywhere we looked in the days before we left was Psalm 91, specifically verses 3, 5, 6, and 7.
We loaded the car, and, standing on those verses almost continually in prayer, traveled to North Carolina—taking precautions along the way. We took extra care in public not to touch anything we didn't swipe with a disinfecting wipe. We kept the hugs at the service to a minimum. But most of all, we simply stood on God's promise through the Spirit to David: "Don't fear the plague; it won't touch you."
We stepped out on God's promise—in faith and with a measure of common sense—and had a wonderful visit. Oh, I managed to blubber my way through my tribute to my aunt, but I got through it. And we got back home—safe, sound, and Corona-free.
Fear and confusion abound at the present. Death stalks us in a minuscule virus, but then, as Christians, death and the world always stalk us. Thank goodness, Jesus overcame the world and holds the keys to life and death.
Don't be afraid of a little virus whispering death. You're bigger than it is. And anyway, our Lord has already kicked its butt.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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