Looking back just a couple years ago the threats to our freedoms looked different in many ways than they do today. In light of the world-wide pandemic, we are now in an emergency response mode that is potentially reshaping our individual freedoms, the role of government, and the very essence of our country.
How quickly the world has changed in the past few weeks!
We now find ourselves called to relinquish certain individual freedoms for the sake of slowing the coronavirus. These are important and maybe appropriate steps in light of the fast-moving threat, but will those freedoms be easily regained after the pandemic has passed? Are we making decisions today that will need to be unwound for the sake of our liberties? Will the control that has been temporarily ceded to government agencies be recoverable?
We need to very careful during this time when reality and perception so easily blur—a blurring that is constantly fed by social media and the 24/7 news cycle.
Today, Preserving America for future generations may hinge upon our ability to encourage our leaders at all levels of government—from school boards and town councils to state assemblies and national leaders—to put aside partisan politics and any desire to grab the spotlight, and slow down enough to think through the long-term ramifications of decisions being made in the heat of the moment.
For sure, there are certain decisions that need to be made in the context of triage. But we could also be in danger of an artificial extension of the cry for urgent action as a means of reshaping of our American liberties into a more truncated form. Liberties that we have perhaps willingly handed over in pursuit of a promise to just make the COVID-19 threat go away.
When and how will those liberties be returned to us?
All important questions for policy makers to consider as they work with imperfect information to form far-reaching policies. There is a need for decisive action. But we need to take enough time to carefully consider the longer-term ramifications of strategies being (often hastily) put in place at the local, state and national level.
Not an easy task. Certainly, one that needs supernatural aid.
That’s where we come in as followers of Christ.
We live with the hopeful tension between a fallen world and a Sovereign God. While we are not promised that we will be spared from the hardships of life, we are promised His Presence as we walk through difficulties.
As we can observe in Jesus’ ministry, sometimes He calmed the wind and seas, sometimes He calmed his followers while the storm raged on unabated.
His words found in John 6:21 are so applicable to us today:
“Don’t be afraid. I am here!”
As His followers, we recognize that we have a role to play in caring for our families and our communities. My hope and my prayer is that the Body of Christ will be found faithful during this time when so many of our families and neighbors face uncertainty about their health, their jobs and their futures.
We do not know what the future holds, but we do know the One who stands on the other side of time and offers His Presence and His Comfort for the meeting of every trial—even COVID-19.
Will we be found faithful to love and care for our neighbors during this time? Or will we wait for the government to step in with a new program?
Will the best of what it means to be an American rise to the top?
Will we implement careful laws and policies that promote human flourishing long after this threat is a footnote in the history text book?
By God’s grace and His mercy, I believe we can IF we approach our tasks as leaders with humility and without partisan political agendas.
We will get through this.
Let us pray that we will emerge a stronger and not a weaker nation on the other side. Much depends on the choices we make in the coming days.
Our hope is ultimately not in policies or programs—no matter how carefully crafted or well-intended. Our hope is in the LORD.
As the Psalmist David reminded us:
“The LORD is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him.” Psalm 27:7
I pray that the comfort and peace of Lord will be upon you and your family. Stay healthy, safe, and ever-vigilant.
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