Difficult times often show peoples true colors. What Scripture teaches is that trials produce growth in believers (James 1:2-4). The growth that comes through these trials prepares believers to face more trials. Those future trials produce growth too, but they also reveal the growth that has already been produced in a person. This Covid-19 epidemic has been very revealing. Truly, many people’s character has been shown through this and much character has been lacking. Most of our world is tiptoeing between fear and panic while foolish thinking abounds. It is my belief that the media has done more harm than good during this time while our leaders in government have done no better. Why are people so afraid? Why are errant decisions being made by our leaders in government that makes people scratch their head? The answer is very clear. Most people are putting their trust in the wrong places with the belief that man is going to dig us out of this crisis.
We have seen this problem in our own state. Our governor in Wisconsin extended our lockdown till May 26th. Now what I want to say right from the outset is that we should pray for our governor and all leaders. They need our prayers during this time that they would lead well and exercise wisdom. In fact, Scripture commands us to pray for our leaders, and not just believing ones (1 Timothy 2:1-2). If we only criticize our governor without praying for him we are sinning. However, I am going to point out something that is very telling from what our governor said that influenced him to extend the lockdown and thereby not allow us to gather. What he said is, “we are going to rely on the science and public health experts to guide us through this challenge.” Now I agree to an extent with our governor. We should listen to what the medical professionals are saying. But what this crisis has shown is how wrong medical professionals can be, and much of the planning is based off of their projections, which have been consistently faulty. Let me emphasize that everyone is very grateful that the previous models were wrong, as there have been far fewer deaths than expected. However, one should ask the question how much should we trust the advice of those who have been wrong more than they have been right during this time? This Covid-19 crisis in some ways has been a lesson of learning who to put your trust in and who not to put your trust in.
We have been let down and our society has suffered as a result, and we have experienced this through preventing us from gathering together (even though I am grateful for what God has done in our church from afar). As your pastor I would love to gather together very soon. If it were up to me we would start worshiping together again by the beginning of May since we know the virus is not as serious as once thought. Le me be clear. I think it is still wise to encourage those most at risk to stay home, but I think it is unwise to say we should all stay home. Now I am not going to defy what the leadership of our state has said. We are told in Scripture to submit to our leaders (even if they are wrong), and to be faithful to the Lord, this we must do (Romans 13:1-7). But I thought it was telling that our governor (and multitudes more in leadership) has his trust in the wrong places and what happens is that humans in leadership will let you down. Science does help some, as we can learn about the virus and hopefully a vaccine will be ready to go down the road, but we should not say that the medical leadership and our politicians who are listening to their advice (Democrat and Republican) have navigated this period well, and in many cases the leadership has bordered on complete incompetence.
What they have shown us is something we should already know, you cannot put your trust in man, and how much more when the leadership is largely secular. They do not have the leadership of Solomon who received his great wisdom from the Lord (1 Kings 3:1-5). The only leaders we can trust; the only people we can trust are those who are led by the Lord. Only the Lord is fully trustworthy, as he fully understands everything and he always knows the right way to go, and therefore all of our confidence should be in him and not in man. The Bible commands us to, “Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock” (Isaiah 26:4). As we trust in the Lord and not on faulty human understanding he will make our paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6). At the end of the day only the Lord knows what is going on and what is the right path, and if we do not seek wisdom from him, how can one expect to make consistently wise decisions? Leadership in our state, country, and the world has done some things right, but they have mostly missed the mark, and may we be reminded of this important lesson: only the Lord is ultimately trustworthy and may we wisely follow him all the days of our lives.
Grace and Peace,