International travel is suspended.
March Madness is canceled.
Broadway is dark.
Disney is closed.
The stock market is down over 20%.
Colleges aren’t returning after Spring Break.
Collegiate sports are suspended.
Schools are closed.
Worship services are canceled.
Was Chicken Little right?
The threat of the coronavirus and the decisions that are forthcoming from the CDC and the WHO regarding gathering in large groups have brought an air of “the sky is falling” to our community. With breathtaking speed, twenty-four hours of announcement after announcement came pummeling though our devices and each one seemed worse than the last. The health of our nation and the economic impact of these decisions are unsure at this time, and we all feel the anxiety, anger, frustration, and fear that come with watching everything you know turn upside down in the span of a day.
Hebrews 12 (New International Version)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
PERSEVERANCE. It is good to remember on days like these that WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS. We will run this race together. We’ll fix our eyes on Jesus as we throw off the hinderance of fear and misinformation. And we will submit to authorities who are making the best decisions they can based on their studies and information, like it or not.
In what I think is a remarkable show of national unity, everything is shutting down so that we can collectively slow down and eventually stop the course of this virus until the last case has been reported. We’re doing this TOGETHER.
It will help us if we recall what Jesus endured, and realize that he is running this race with us. Even in our exhaustion, we can remember Jesus’ pain and suffering and find the strength to continue. Consider this:
For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
And don’t forget what happened to Chicken Little. She got bonked on the head by an acorn and concluded that the sky was falling. In her hysteria, she convinced Goosey Loosey, Henny Penny, and Ducky Lucky to join her in running around yelling that the sky was falling. Then came Foxy Loxy, who offered to take them to the King to report about the sky. So he took them one at a time into his fox den, where loud squawks and flying feathers ensued. They never returned. Pretty foxy, wouldn’t you say?
The moral? Keep your head about you. The sky is not falling. The fox den is a place of fear, so don’t go there. You’ll get entangled. Instead, follow the hygiene guidelines, don’t go into large crowds if you are in the vulnerable demographic, and just wait it out. And practice patience, perseverance, and love for one another.
This is bad, and it will get worse before it gets better. But it won’t last forever. Don’t lose heart! This too shall pass.