Looking at the World Health Org's chronicle of the COVID-19's progressive destruction, the reactions and the results, one concludes that we are not the apex of wisdom and intelligence. When the most (assumed) advanced civilization cannot cease, control or contain a disastrous viral outbreak, when people ignore warnings to cease activities that will lead to infection, illness and death, when people are confronted with death and the loss of all sorts of what they considered normal, where do they turn? What do they really trust? To what do they turn?
I had a rude shock about this when one of my alma maters cancelled a reunion that was later in June (which would have been the first time I actually ever attended a reunion). Because of that, I had to cancel the motel reservations, which were not refundable, since I had reserved them a certain way. It bugged me that I had to give up that money, to which my wife reminded me that the motel is probably losing business right and left, so let it go, it's just money, honey. Then I had to cancel something that had to do with one of my children, and that was nonrefundable also. And a host of things where I would lose money, skinflint that I am, and cheapskate to boot. It was not like I throw money around or am a money-grubbing capitalist. I just don't like spending money.
Oh boo-hoo, my daughter would say, look around you. Look at those who are suffering. I do. I sure do, and it is real suffering, and everyone knows somebody suffering. So does our Lord. He sees it all. He hurts along with the suffering world, a world which He created and watched fall into sin. There are much, much bigger things than my stupid frugality. It's not about money anyway. Besides, it's His money He just lent me; God is uniquely gifted with all resources.
St. Paul would say the same thing to me, but not to the mutual exclusion of the believing world. He would remind us Christians in the west, where we have relative wealth, freedom and peace that all of this can disappear overnight, and no path to wealth, freedom and peace that we once sought by merely wishing it or voting it in will do anymore. Paul is reminding us that on what we focus may become our god, and that we worship this god even while claiming to be followers of Christ Jesus. He reminded the Corinthians that the things of this life will pass, and that we all as Christians do not need to depend on things to get through.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
While this momentary affliction is not really about suffering a viral outbreak, it reminds us that we will suffer many things in this life. Money loss, other things on which we hold are nothing compared to an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. And that eternal weight of glory is found in the Lord Jesus, who left the beauty and glory of His heavenly throne to become one of us, to suffer with and for us, to empty Himself and be obedient to death, even death on a cross, to bring to us forgiveness and peace with His Father.
So, from and invisible killer to invisible treasures through Christ Jesus, such as God's grace, peace, mercy, forgiveness, love, eternal life, that far outweigh every single thing that weighs us down and will not last, we have the gifts of God through Jesus Christ. And we have them now and for eternity. It is worth giving up all the gold in the world to bring comfort and support to those with none, especially with no faith in the very God who wants them with Him forever.
Everlasting Father, it is Your will that all should be saved and come to the knowledge of Your Son by faith. Give to Your Word success and deliver from error all those who live in darkness and fear, that they may walk in the light of the Lord Jesus and have confidence for the trials of this world and hope for the world to come; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.