Thursday, May 07, 2009

Who is going to care for the sick during a pandemic?

Proverbs 18:14: A man's spirit sustains him in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?

If a pandemic came, how would we, as Christians, react? Would we isolate ourselves from everyone else? Would we hide out behind our walls, safe from the contamination of a dirty world?

I believe we should go into the world and minister. Yes, if we believe God’s word, we go minister. If we believe Psalm 139:13-16 which says: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” We will not die one day too soon or too late. We will die when God intends us to die. If we don’t minister to a hurting world, who will?

George Mueller was a German who ministered in Britain. He is best known for the boys’ homes he built with perseverance and prayer. Mueller was also a pastor of a small church. He had no salary but depended on the weekly tithe and offering for his sustenance. A disease spread through England. Mueller and his church decided to care for the sick and those suffering. During the process, no one in his church died except an 80 year old lady, later in the diseases progression. No one knew for sure if she died of the disease or old age. What a witness in a time of trial. They chose to minister and God provided protection for them during this time.

What would you do during a pandemic—minister or run and hide. I must admit there would be a lot of pressure to run and hide because we’ve been hiding out behind the walls of our monasteries (I mean churches, sorry!) while a world suffers.

Jesus ministered to the sick. Jesus ministered to the most despised, the ones with leprosy and more. We are called to do the same. (James 2:14-17: "What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

Leslie Brand in “Meditations of a Radical Christian” says, “I am not called and redeemed by God in order to pull out of this sinful world, to be washed off and shined up and put on display…but I am called and redeemed and empowered for the very purpose of carrying on the incarnation of Jesus Christ of going directly into the world, its sewers and cesspools, its sickness and distortions, its emptiness and weakness and fears, and there demonstrate God’s love and Christ’s salvation and the Holy Spirit’s presence and power.”

Psalm 103:3: “who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases”
John 3:16 says “God so loved the world that He gave…”. So we should give of ourselves. Amen

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