Uninformed or faith filled?

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I’ve noticed a growing trend here to think/say that anyone who is not freaked out of their mind is not taking things seriously. I’ve been rebuffed by friends several times recently when trying to offer comfort and encouragement. They hint I must be uninformed or irresponsible. Actually, I’m neither. They don’t seem to understand, the reason I’m not scared and remain calm and even joyful, is not because I don’t know the facts (I do) or that I’m reckless or in denial (I too am careful to keep the guidelines etc.) The reason is that I know from past experience our God is so much bigger than any virus. I also know fear is far more dangerous than any sickness because it renders you powerless, so I choose not to yield to it.

My sweet friend and prayer partner is experiencing similar reactions when she tries to say something positive or encouraging. It’s so sad as I so much want to offer help and encouragement.

Heart warming (copied from a friend’s post)

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Julian Urban 38 years old – doctor in Lombardy:
“Never in my darkest nightmares have I imagined that I could see and experience what has been happening here in our hospital for three weeks. The nightmare is flowing, the river is getting bigger and bigger. In the beginning there were a few of them, then dozens and then hundreds, and now we are no longer doctors, we have become sorters on the conveyor belt, and we decide who should live and who should be sent home to die, even though all these people have paid Italian taxes all their lives.
Until two weeks ago my colleagues and I were atheists; that was normal, because we are doctors and we have learned that science excludes the presence of God.
I always laughed at my parents going to church.
Nine days ago a 75-year-old pastor came to us; he was a kind man, he had serious breathing problems, but he had a Bible with him and we were impressed that he read it to the dying and held their hands.
We were all tired, discouraged, mentally and physically exhausted when we had time to listen to him.
Now we have to admit: We as human beings have reached our limits, that’s all we can do, and more and more people are dying every day.
And we are exhausted, we have two colleagues who have died, and others have been infected.
We have realized that where what man can do ends, we need God, and we have begun to ask Him for help when we have a few minutes; we talk to each other, and we cannot believe that as wild atheists we are now searching for our peace every day, asking the Lord to help us resist so that we can take care of the sick. Yesterday, the pastor died, a 75-year-old pastor who, until today, although we have had more than 120 deaths here in three weeks and we were all exhausted, devastated, had managed to bring us, despite his condition and our difficulties, a PEACE that we had not any more hoped to find.
The pastor has gone to the Lord, and soon we will follow him too if he continues like this.
I haven’t been home for 6 days, I don’t know when I last ate and I am becoming aware of my uselessness on this earth and I want to dedicate my last breath to helping others. I am happy to have returned to God while I am surrounded by the suffering and death of my fellow human beings.

Free “medicine”.

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“Some trust in chariots and some in horses (medical profession and government) but we will put our trust in the Lord our God.” It’s so much safer and easier to trust in God, He never gets it wrong, runs out of supplies, never has an ulterior motive.

This is a good time to evaluate what our faith is ultimately grounded on. When all other props are taken away does it stand strong? Does peace fill your soul and dark thoughts flee when you pick up your Bible and read? Do you believe the words written there, lay hold of God’s promises for your loved ones and others? These times measure the depths of our faith.

Is God bigger in your mind than a virus? It’s easier for those of us who have seen God’s power at work, witnessed miracles of healing. It’s normal for us to trust the Lord because that’s what we usually do, but for those who’ve yet to experience these things or who have become entangled in the snares of a busy life. It can be shattering to see the things they rely on disappear. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t receive help from doctors when it’s available. God bless them, they are doing such a sacrificial job on the front lines and are deserving of our prayers and support, but they, like us, are merely men and women and have their limitations.

No need to worry if you’ve found your faith not deep-rooted enough for this emergency, or founded on the wrong foundation. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” You can expand yours, you just need to “eat” the word. Pick up your Bible and start reading (preferably with a notebook or highlighter in hand to help recall the parts that speak peace to your heart, the promises you can claim. Read Ps. 91 daily, memorise it, sing it to yourself. Check out all the wonderful talks online instead of getting filled up on harrowing news reports scaring you with “worse case scenarios” that often prove wrong. (Andrew Wommack, Curry Blake and Jeremy Pearson are my personal favourites for health crisis and have tons of free stuff, but there are many out there to choose from.)

Peace (and healing if needed) are on offer and they’re free!

The worst-case scenario really ain’t that bad.

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I recalled yesterday that as a small child I almost died of double pneumonia, so close it could be counted as a near-death experience. Far from being traumatic, I remember it with awe as one of the most beautiful of my life experiences. I don’t even recall feeling sick just very, very tired, seldom waking. In my “dreams” I was getting closer and closer to a place I regarded as home, seeing colours I never saw on earth, in an atmosphere of such peace and homecoming. Gentle music and gentle caressing light bathed and relaxed me. I was in perfect peace.

As a Christian, particularly having had this experience, death doesn’t worry me too much. It means my work here is done, but I don’t like suffering lol. The Lord reminded me, if it came to it, pneumonia is a pretty good way to go, lol! Not that I intend going just yet. I still have work to do here, but it put things in perspective

Of course, much of our fears can be for loved ones or, worse yet, when we have others dependent on us. These are hard things, but I finally learned that my loved ones and dependents are better off in His hands than mine. My love, help and support are limited, His are not. Hard as that one may be, it’s safer to trust His for our loved ones. He loves them far more than we ever could. Wishing you all peace and continuing joy during these troubled times.

As the wave of the virus washes over us…

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Pandemic by Lynn Ungar

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.

At last reliable virus figures (and it’s good news!)

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Italian Governor Zaia from the Veneto region said:

“80% of all sick people heal by themselves, 15% need medication and 5% need to have hospital attention. All 17 people who died already, HAD ADVANCED HEALTH ISSUES! No healthy person who caught the coronavirus has died. It’s an alarm with no foundation. In the beginning they reacted the way they did because they didn’t have any real information about the virus. But after seeing what it is, the information is too exaggerated.”

My daughter (who has a villa in northern Italy) further explained. They had such a sudden jump in figures because they did a house to house check in affected areas, testing everyone. Basically, it seems the new virus behaves pretty much like normal seasonal flu – highly infectious, unpleasant,  but no danger if you are in reasonably good health. (The danger lies more in the panic and economic repercussions of the panic.) Though it makes sense for the elderly and vulnerable to isolate themselves as they are at risk due to the lack of a vaccine or medical help. I call that great news! God bless the Italians!

Set free from virus fears.

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I’ve not been immune to the fear and trials that abound with the onset of this new virus. Three of my family have been close to the “firing line” in China, Malaysia, northern Italy and the UK. My heart was wrung by some of the footage coming out of China (I have many I care about there). Worst of all was not knowing the truth – Was it of natural origin or manmade, if so, who released it and why? Were the real death percentages 2 point something or between 16 – 17%, Was the role out of 5G involved in the collapse and death of those showing no symptoms?

My empathy warped into fear, not for myself, but others. It culminated when praying after church for those involved with a wonderful lady who’d also lived in China. Perceptive, she also prayed for me. It slowly dawned on me I was not operating in faith but in fear. Without faith it is impossible to please Him, and fear disempowers our prayers. I recalled a message I’d heard how David having lost everything (even his own men wanting to stone him) paused to magnify the Lord (picture a magnifying glass) before setting his petitions before him, recalling all the wonderful things God had done. He not only recovered all but soon became king!

Transformation! God began to fill my vision and the virus etc. shrank back to its real perspective. I began to tune in, not to the constant bombardment of the media, but the testimonies of the amazing Rom 8:28s slowly trickling out – miracles, healings, the gospel being preached. Seeing governments and the medical profession powerless to help, hearts were turning toward God. There’s nothing like looking death in the face to wake one up to what is important in life!

So, my suggestion if the virus comes to your part of the world? By all means heed the advice to wash your hands repeatedly, strengthen your immune system by healthy eating, fresh air, exercise and lots of Vit. C, but over and above all read and claim Psalm 91 daily.

The Bible tells us that “plagues” such as this, together with wars, famine, earthquakes etc. (Mat 24) are part of the prelude to His return. If such things continue to increase, we can be comforted in that they are signs of His soon coming and a happy ending to all earth’s troubles. Instead of fearing, we can rejoice in spite of them, having peace that He is in control.

Did God bring this plague then? Of course not. (For Revelation scholars it’s worth noting that the trumpets of Revelation – unlike the vials/bowls – announce the coming of things, they do not initiate them.) Whatever the cause of this virus, it can be traced back to man’s refusal to live as God intended (if only to the origin of sin that brought these things into the world). However, He will be there with His children bringing hope, healing and Rom 8:28s.