Reflections on the Pandemic
by Youth Minister Jaden Taylor
Friends once asked me, “Jaden, why would God allow COVID-19 to happen?” My first response with humorous intent was along the lines of, “I don’t know, ask Him.” But, after serious reflection, I answered to the best of my ability. When we see plagues break out in history, both biblical and academic, there are a few common causes. The commonly quoted verse referencing God healing the land in response to repentance is in the context of national sin. That surely checks out with the brokenness of this world, let alone this country. We also see that the actions of man can have devastating effects on his neighbor. Could this be intentional? Maybe. Is this just a symptom of living in a broken and sinful world where uglier and crueler tragedies happen daily without a moment of our concern? Sure, why not. We could speculate all day on the why. Why is there evil? Why do people die? Why is COVID-19 a thing? Whose fault is this sickness? Wait a second! That sounds familiar.
Continuing my answer, I directed my friends to a passage of scripture in conclusion to my musings. John 9, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Whose fault is it? Why did this happen? Who is to blame for this brokenness? It truly is such an ugly question that frequents our hearts so often. It draws a huge gap between me and my neighbor as if his brokenness and suffering are somehow justified in such a way that I, in my rightness, would be virtuous in leaving him in the state I found him. I, for one, am guilty of such thinking, so if you need me to confess first, I will. But I will say it again, this sin frequents all our hearts often. In this very context, Jesus’ response is even more beautiful – “neither this man nor his parents sinned but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” Then what did Jesus do? He moved towards the hurting, suffering, disabled man in love, compassion, and grace. I concluded by answering the question with this statement, “If we are to be Jesus in the world, we should go and do the same. Move toward the destructive fall out of sin with the love and light of God.”
God healing the land in response to repentance is in the context of national sin.
Back when there was no vaccine, there was no human solution to our COVID-19 problem. And what was the response of the world? Faith, like I have never seen, from unbelieving people. Nations were crying out to God for mercy. And guess what? God was responding. I recall seeing reports of the numbers going down, but more than that, I saw gateways for international people to come back to God and do what He created us to do, which is to live a life that acknowledges Him (and all that it entails.) I, too, prayed to the Lord for family and friends I care about, as well as myself. My Bishop had been teaching at CKC about getting to know the keys to the Kingdom. My key was to look in my heritage as a Christian and to realize that the same promises gifted from God to my Spiritual ancestors are my inheritance, as well. I can rest in the truth that the same God who promised to be Abraham’s shield will shield me, who promised to be with Israel through the fire and the flood will also be with me.
So, as I searched the scriptures, I found one passage that seemed to parallel our time of being in a plague. I saw where God stated that He would make a distinction with His people in Goshen (Exodus 8:23; chapters 8 and 9 for context), and while all of Egypt suffered from the plagues, God spared the Hebrews in Goshen. So, I prayed in faith and stood on that Word with all my. When my mother came with the same Word after her time in prayer, and when my grandfather instructed me to pray that the Blood of Jesus cover my heart just as the blood of the Passover Lamb covered the doorposts, my faith was secured. I’ll admit standing on faith alone is challenging when it’s your life on the line, but that is all we had in 2019, and God kept me.