Give thanks — for Coronavirus?

Right now every person who is inclined toward prayer is likely asking God to remove the Coronavirus. It is frightening. It is creating a panic that is, in turn, wreaking havoc on the world economy. But, perhaps, believers in Christ Jesus should be taking another tact in prayer — perhaps we should be thanking God.

Allow me to use another moment in history to explain…

In her autobiography, The Hiding Place, Corrie Ten Boom recounts her experiences as the Nazis invaded her home in the Netherlands. She and her family witnessed the abuses the Nazis meted out, especially to the Jewish members of the community. Corrie and her family became a part of the Dutch underground, hiding Jews in their home to prevent them from being shipped off to concentration camps. This, of course, the Nazis deemed “illegal.”

Thid-FleaEventually the Ten Boom family was caught hiding Jews. For this “crime” they were imprisoned. Corrie and her sister, Betsy, eventually found themselves residents of a work camp in Germany. The first thing they noticed, upon walking into their barracks, was the entire place was infested with fleas. They were everywhere.

Betsy prayed. She thanked God for the roof, the walls…

…and the fleas.

Corrie was shocked and asked her sister why she would give thanks for the fleas that tormented them day and night. Betsy’s response came directly from Scripture.

“In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” — 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Corrie believed Scripture, and even knew Betsy was right. But, she could not bring herself to give thanks for the fleas.

As time went on they discovered their days were filled with abuse from the Nazi guards. They never had a moment’s peace. Betsy eventually became too ill to continue in the hard labor to which she and Corrie had been assigned. She was reassigned to knit socks for Nazi soldiers. Her new work station was in the barracks. In her new assignment she discovered peace. The Nazi guards left the sock knitters completely alone. In fact, the Nazi guards refused to enter the barracks where the socks were being knit.

SScapThey didn’t want to get fleas.

What a blessing.

I can’t begin to tell you what God is doing with the Coronavirus. But I do know that Scripture tells us…

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” — Romans 8:28

If you are a born-again believer in Christ Jesus you have the assurance that your heavenly Father never abandons you. In fact, sometimes he loves you with affliction. Consider the words of the Psalmist…

“Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word.” — Psalm 119:67

“It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.” — Psalm 119:71

“I know, oh LORD, that your rules are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.” — Psalm 119:75

May God use this virus to draw His children near, to shake us from our complacency, to bring many more people into His kingdom, and to get great glory for His name. I have no idea how that will work, but in the meantime we can all thank God for Coronavirus.

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