We encourage all the brothers and sisters of the GNC family of faith to use wisdom and to take all reasonable precautions needed to stay healthy and safe in the midst of this Coronavirus emergency. We encourage the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, to remain at home to lessen the probability of contracting the virus. We encourage the younger members, who are at lower risk, to also observe best practices to protect themselves and others from infection; as an act of Christian charity toward those who are at higher risk. Please, we ask you to take seriously the recommendations and guidelines of the local governing authorities and the CDC - for the sake of your health, for the sake of others, for the sake of the GNC family and for the sake of our community. But, above all else, we ask that you "trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean upon your own understanding. In all you [do], acknowledge the [Lord]" (Proverbs 3:5-6) and PRAY.
Do not allow anxiety to overwhelm you and drive you to fear and cause you to panic. Instead bring your anxieties and fears to God, allowing your faith and trust in the Lord Almighty to drive you to your knees and cause you to cry out to the Lord and PRAY. "The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about [what's happening around you or what you hear/see in the news], but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7). Why trust in the Lord? Why pray? No matter what steps we take; no matter what actions the government or CDC takes, in the end "unless the Lord watches over [and protects us and] the city, [we stay vigilant] in vain."
Our God is greater than the Coronavirus. The power of our God is greater than the government. The wisdom of our God is wiser than the CDC and all the scientists/doctors of the world combined. The healing hand of our God is more capable than all the medical technology/medicines of this world. Yes, God has given us scientists, doctors and medicine. God works through them, but God is not LIMITED by them. Our God is a God of power and even today, continues to work miracles among his people who call on his name.
In our modern society, we have learned to trust too much in the tools that God has given us and have learned to trust too little in the God who has given us those tools and can provide us even greater ones. Let us awaken and once again, turn to our God in faith, and PRAY.
Pray that God grants wisdom to the doctors and scientist doing research for a vaccine.
Pray that God bestows humble wisdom upon the local, state and federal leaders to guide our communities.
Pray that God may grant peace to all people through his common grace that communities may come together in support of and charity towards each other instead of panicking in fear and acting against each other.
Pray for the elderly and those with compromised immune systems asking that God provide them an extra portion of grace. Pray for those who have been sickened by the Coronavirus seeking that God preserve them and restore them to health.
Pray that God may grant peace and comfort to his people, to his church.
Pray that God grant insight on how to best for wisdom on how to best reach out to help and love others, first within our church community and secondly with our general sphere of influence.
Pray that God grant wisdom and strength to the pastors and shepherds of GNC that we may be equipped with all that we need to guide you through this time in manner that testifies of the love, grace and peace of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
If you are at home, whether you are young or older, and are wondering what you should with the time you have, you have many options, but I present to you, the most important, most helpful and most impactful thing that you can do to make a difference in this time of anxiety and fear IS TO PRAY.
Brothers and sisters, take time to pray today and bring all your fears and worries, “cast all your anxieties on [Jesus Christ], because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7) and in the night, you will understand that the LORD “grants [peace and] sleep to those he loves” (Psalm 127:2 NIV 1984).
In His Grace,
Pastor John O