Last week, I braved a trip to Costco (appropriately observing all their new safety guidelines). Now, I’ve been to several stores throughout this pandemic scare. It’s fascinated me to watch the run on such a simple staple as TP. In the last month, every time I’ve been to Costco, they’ve been out of toilet tissue by 10AM.
So when I visited the store last week, I headed to the back of the warehouse around 1:00PM, expecting to see bare shelves. But on that day, I found a very different situation. There in the toilet tissue location was a mountain of TP available. A rough calculation confirmed there was enough tissue there to supply the 3rd Army Division. I was shocked! But it was even more surprising that no one was buying any.
At that point I realized that even though the pandemic may not be over, the panic and fear about the pandemic is. Or at least the fear about TP. Somehow, our culture has come to believe if you have enough TP in your closet, you’re OK!
I Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxiety on Him, because he cares for you.” Nowhere in that verse does it mention you should cast your fear on Jesus when you’re out of TP …or when you’re out of Purell …or when restaurants are closed …or if you can’t get a haircut. …or when you can’t gather when friends.
No, this message from Peter is God’s prescription for life, regardless of the circumstances. The news changes every day. Warnings and recommended practices seem to change frequently. But God’s prescription doesn’t change.
That’s why I’m grateful to hear Charles Morris start each Haven Today program with a “Faith Not Fear Update” which underscores our dependence on our Heavenly Father. We can trust, and should trust, our Lord Jesus to extinguish these fears which are often irrational.
There’s a balance between care and concern…our health and comfort for those around us. It was probably best expressed by Martin Luther when he was asked about responding to the Plague:
“I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me however I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely as stated above. See this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.”
To that I offer a COVID-19 Amen!