Cities are in lockdown. People are staying at home. Millions of people unemployed. Our shopping centres are eerily empty. Our Federal government has already committed a total of over $200 billion dollars in a raft of measures to deal with the fallout of the coronavirus crisis, in addition to billions of dollars the states are spending. This is unprecedented in its scale. The US Senate recently passed the largest aid package in history last week with a 96-0 vote. This kind of partisanship agreement is also unprecedented in its history.
The cause of this? A tiny virus, so tiny, it is invisible to our eye! Just think about that for a minute! Does this not make hollow humankind’s boasts in its achievements in myriads of fields; its boasts in its power, intellect and self-sufficiency, that all it takes to unravel our society and bring the entire world to its knees is a virus!
“Right and wrong? No, it’s the survival of the fittest. Stuff the mitigation measures! No one is going to tell me what I can and can’t do! Don’t tell me what to buy and how much! I have rights and my rights come first before anyone else’s”.
The entire world is being shaken. Such a global shakedown is not unique. Think of the global financial crisis. In the last century alone we had two world wars. The flu pandemic across the globe between 1918-1920 killed between 20-50 million lives. The bubonic plaque (black death) in the 14th century ravaged Europe, Africa and Asia. Between 75 and 200 million people perished.
History tells us we will recover from the COVD-19 pandemic and its fallout. We are a resilient lot. The key question is will we listen to what God wants to say to us – at an individual, corporate, global level – through this crisis? Or will we go back to business as usual once a vaccine is found? C.S.Lewis wrote that God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience but he shouts in our pains; it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.
Both the prophet Haggai and the author of the book of Hebrews (12:25-29) warns us in such a time as ours, God is using it to shake and stir a complacent, self-sufficient, prideful deaf world, to rouse and draw nations to himself. God wants to shake his church too so that his house will be filled with his glory, a glory greater than the ‘former house’ (Haggai 2:6-9).
Let us seek the Lord more than ever and pray that his shaking of the nations and our lives will accomplish his purpose!