Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with my thoughts on the coronavirus.
As the COVID-19 virus spreads, it is shaking the faith of many, isn’t it? And tempting all of us to live in fear of headlines and people’s predictions. But in the worst of times, aren’t you glad that Christians, we can be at our best? For we are people of the Word who believe the world belongs to our sovereign Lord. His rule extends over everything, even to, and especially to, microbes and viruses.
And at Joni and Friends, we are focusing on the very people who are most vulnerable to this coronavirus – individuals with disabilities, young and old, as well as the medically fragile, those who use ventilators, the elderly. I want you to know that our Area Ministry teams are supporting these very families with practical support and prayer. And right now, especially this week, at the International Disability Center, the headquarters of Joni and Friends, we have launched a staff-wide prayer effort where our groups are meeting throughout the day to pray for these vulnerable populations.
ʼCause the ministry message of Joni and Friends has always rested squarely on the foundation of God’s sovereignty. Psalm 33:11 assures that, “The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations.” This means Jesus knows exactly where the virus is, and where it is going next, who will get it and who won’t. And since our Savior always does what is wise and good, He has prudent purposes as it concerns this disease. And personally? I am staking my life on it. Because I am also an individual at great risk to this coronavirus. I am an aging quadriplegic with very fragile lungs, an immune system that can be easily compromised. But I bolster my confidence with the same assurance that we are giving the people we serve through Joni and Friends: Again, that the world belongs to almighty God, so Christians can be confident in His plan and purposes. There is absolutely no reason to be caught up in the panic or to be caught up in the blame.
So, to our friends listening with chronic conditions, if you might contract this virus – I tell you, we’re standing beside you with prayer and practical support. Please contact Joni and Friends immediately so we can pray wisely, committedly, specifically for your family. And to those who stave off this virus? I implore you, please join us in interceding for our nation’s exposed populations, including the elderly, disabled people in care centers, special-needs families, ventilator-dependent individuals. These are the very people we serve at Joni and Friends, and we are convinced that they have God’s heart. So, join us, would you, in lifting these vulnerable persons up before the throne! When will this outbreak pass? Well, Job would rest in God’s timing, wouldn’t he? As he said in Job chapter 42, “I know that [you, O Lord] can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” So, in the meantime, let’s be people of light and hope, and let people know that God says in Isaiah 46, “I am the Lord, there is no other … My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.”
Yeah, this coronavirus, COVID-19, is disconcerting. But let’s rest and have confidence in the supreme sovereignty of God, especially during this difficult season. Join me in praying fervently, sharing the good news of God’s mercy, resting in His purposes, and wiping all counters and washing your hands a lot!