Letters & Opinion

Coronavirus No Cause For Panic: Be Careful God Is In Control

By Rev. Seth Ampadu superintendent Minister- Methodist Church in Saint Lucia Circuit.

AS a people, we must trust the wisdom and sovereignty of God in this crisis of Coronavirus which seems to be now spreading across the globe. In situations like this, it is very easy to lose faith and to live in fear of the headlines and the false information of unknown origin that some people circulate in social media space. This global uncertainty has raised its ugly head, claiming life and causing both health and economic hardship in the entire world of which our country is no exception. Every week this virus is making headlines; crippling economies, cancelling schools in some places, disrupting travel and killing people in more places around the world. This is a critical time when we need to hold on to our God.

When fear threatens to grab hold of our hearts, our God is not surprised by a Coronavirus outbreak. He is not disinterested in our fears. He is our rock, our light, and our salvation. Let us put our hope in God and know that He is in charge. God has all knowledge and all authority over the natural and supernatural forces of this world. He knows exactly where the Coronavirus started and where it is going next. He has complete power to restrain it or not. Let us understand that neither sin, nor Satan, nor sickness, nor sabotage is stronger than our God.

The Psalmist says in Psalm 20:7″Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God”.

According to our Health Officials, as a nation, we have not yet recorded any case of Coronavirus. We must give thanks to God for keeping us safe so far. Giving thanks to God also is a reminder to us that “heaven helps those who help themselves”. It is wise to protect ourselves against this outbreak. We need to take the advice that has been carefully outlined by our national leaders about reducing the risk of catching the virus. There are basic things that we need to do to minimize the chances of getting it which the Government of Saint Lucia Health Directorate has outlined on its website.

For the sake of those who are not aware of it, these include:
– regular hand washing with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer where soap and water are not available.
– cover mouth and nose with disposable tissues or clothing when coughing and sneezing.
– avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
– seek medical attention and share your travel history with your health care provider if you have symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness either during or after travel. (source: http://www.govt.lc/news/update-on-coronavirus-and-test-results)

As a people, we need to be rest assured that God will protect us. However, in the event that there were to be any recorded case of Coronavirus in our country – for which we are praying hard that it will not happen – we need not to be afraid. Let us continue to demonstrate our faith in God.

For those who may be unfortunate to catch it, as a nation, we would need to rally behind such persons. This is a time to avoid prejudices that can surface during moments of fear. We need to avoid the attitude of judgement and show more compassion and solidarity towards the affected people across the globe. We know that communities would be in need of our solidarity and support at such times as this. Let our faithful response be centered in compassion and care rather than fear, judgement, isolation, or division.

For Church leaders, I humbly appeal to all of us that we will use our pulpit and various platforms to help educate our congregations and calm fears; providing vital information about risks and best prevention practices. This can happen in worship services, our newsletters, our various church bulletin boards, etc.

As faith leaders, we need to promote prayer meetings and create opportunities for prayer at this critical time for those who are suffering, those responding to treatment, and those scientists seeking to mitigate the harm caused by this Coronavirus. Let us also pray for our families and the nation, by calling upon the name of Jesus, the name that has power to heal and to save.

With faith in God and love for each other, we can make the best of the situation by strengthening bonds between ourselves as a people and bringing our communities together.

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