Best-case scenario

Never in my lifetime have I witnessed the world so focused on one thing—Covid-19. I feel compelled to write something, but I’m not going to tell you to wash your hands. Rather give me a few minutes (700 words) and I will give you a best-case scenario that comes in two parts. 

Part 1: Humankind has been humbled. 
We have been proud and arrogant in our human achievements. Our saturation with knowledge and endless options has made us self-reliant. We have elevated our own importance and dismissed our need for God.

All that has changed. We have met our match with the corona virus. The world has come to a screeching halt. A new enemy holds our attention—an enemy we cannot see or hear or smell or taste—and if we touch it we risk infection. Misinformation spreads quickly, and suspicion abounds about what we are not being told. 

The giants of our land have proven powerless: entertainment, sports, media, Wall Street. Google can’t save us, or even answer our questions. We’re reminded daily of our vulnerability. We can’t run away because travel has proved more dangerous than staying home. We finally acknowledge that we’ve been foolish, to have been so dependent on foreign countries for essential supplies. No one on this planet has been unaffected by this global crisis. We can’t begin to fathom where the ripple effect will take us.

The proud beast that we’ve become has been humbled.

We’re all guilty and each one should examine himself. I am guilty and have been humbled by the words of James (4:13-16). Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will we will live and do this or that.”

I am guilty of planning my days and orchestrating my tasks. I have been prideful and self-determined. Today I humble myself and repent. 

In the words of the once proud King Nebuchadnezzar, “Those who walk in pride he is able to humble.” (Daniel 4:37)

Part 2: God is exalted.
“Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.” Ps 57:11

Enter the transcendent Sovereign of the universe. 

“He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” Daniel 4:35

“I form the light and create the darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I the Lord, do all these things” (Isaiah 45:7).

The Lord sees where the virus is, knows where it is going, and when it will end, whether weeks or months. He knows who will survive and who will not. And because all life is in his hands, no one will die without his permission.

“The Lord Almighty has sworn, ‘Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand’ (Isaiah 14:24).

God is exalted when people come to the end of themselves and look up, when fear and uncertainty drive people back to God. God is exalted when in our humbled state, we realize the world’s solutions are not enough, when we recognize our need for help beyond human ingenuity.  

God is exalted when his own people turn to him in humble dependence. Sunday March 15 has been declared a National Day of Prayer by our leaders. This is an appropriate time to pray that God will bring about this best-case scenario: a humbled world and an exalted God. 

“Be still and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10 

I would love to hear your thoughts.

10 comments to Best-case scenario

  • Kristina Smith

    Thank you for this! I need constant truth filtering it way through my mind. I need these reminders. This is probably the scariest thing I’ve been through, and it’s really showing me where my trust resides. Thank you for speaking truth and pointing my mind, once again, back to the sovereign One!

    • Hi Kristina, all of us are unsettled by the uncertainty of this virus. Thankfully God has given us so many encouragements in his word that we can run to. “God is our refuge and strength. An ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea…” Psalm 46:1-2. No matter what catastrophe comes upon us, God is there for us. So glad you reached out. Keep holding on.

  • Chéríe

    Thank you for this reminder. Perhaps it is fitting that this virus is labeled a ‘Corona’ virus. Under a microscope, it is the shape of a crown. Love you so much Janet.

    • Who knew this detail about the shape? Hmm. Well, God is definitely in this and he is turning hearts to him. Love you too Cherie!

  • Beverly Schlomann

    I just read in Psalm 105, regarding Israel and their time in Egypt. The psalmist recalls the plagues and God bringing his people out, etc.
    And then the last verse, and I thought about our current world situation — all this happened so that they might keep his statutes and obey his instructions. (Ps105:45 CSB)

    My prayer, like yours, is that not only would those who know Jesus as savior would be knocked from our apathy and self sufficiency to remember that God is God. . .but also that those who have relied on self or science or anything else would turn from darkness to light, from the power of Satan to God, that they would receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in [Jesus] (Acts 26:18)

    • Oh Beverly, what insightful words from the Scriptures! God is all over this. He loves us so much that he pursues us in every way. And when we ignore him he knows how to get our attention. And TODAY the world is looking for answers.

  • Lise Anderson

    Janet, thank you so much for this convicting post. I look forward to the next one.
    Two days ago I read the following quote from Corrie Ten Boom which I think is complimentary:

    You can never learn that Christ is all you need until Christ is all you have.

    Amen! His grace is sufficient!!

    • Hi Lise, Great quote from Corrie Ten Boom. She knows what she is talking about.
      I found another great verse in Psalm 33:18-22
      “The eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
      on those whose hope is in his unfailing love
      to deliver them from death
      and keep them alive in famine. (OR VIRUS)
      We wait in hope for the Lord;
      he is our help and our shield.
      In him our hearts rejoice
      for we trust in his holy name.
      May your unfailing love rest upon us O Lord,
      even as we put our hope in you.”

  • Pam

    Your blog is a timely piece shared via Facebook by a faithful follower of Christ. I too am a follower of our Lord. What I see and what I’ve already experienced has opened my eyes to so many things I took for granted and things I need to pay attention to and where it is leading me is to be humbled, charitable and kind. I pray this is a revival in faith and more people turn towards our Sovereign God for every need. Thank you for putting this into beautiful words.

    • Pam, what a great thought—a revival in faith! I think we can say confidently that the world has changed already and people are seeing that we are more helpless than we would ever have admitted before. Thanks for jumping in.