Who Do You Trust?

May 3, 2009

Contemplate how incredibly bad a real epidemic disease would be.

I imagine it would begin with rumors and fear. You would begin to hear about the disease–where it is, how it is affecting people, how fast it is traveling, etc. While it may seem distant at first, the questions would begin to creep into your mind. Will it spread to where I live? Will people I know or interact with get sick?

Then, if the disease should spread to your area in a true and deadly epidemic fashion, I can only imagine how bad the terror could become. And more than that there would be an incredible internal conflict within each individual between fear and care. As loved ones began to get sick and even die, how would people decide whether to stay and care for them or to flee and avoid the contagious disease? The paranoia would be unreal.

That brings us to the swine flu–the current “epidemic” that is making headlines in our world today. How do we as Christians respond to the possibility of an epidemic? In the face of something so potentially scary, do we respond with worry or peace?

It’s easy to base our trust and peace merely on rational thinking. We tell ourselves, “The swine flu is not that big of a deal. People in America aren’t really dying from it. The statistics aren’t really worse than the regular flu, which kills thousands every year. Honestly, this whole thing is overblown.”

Personally, I would generally agree with those statements. It sounds like this swine flu thing is a bit over-hyped. However, I’ve been really challenged about the basis of my lack of anxiety. Am I not anxious because of rational thinking, or is there also an underlying foundational trust in a sovereign God?

Let’s face it. Someday we all might face something that we cannot reason away by saying, “It’s not that big of a deal.” Where will our trust be then?

Will it be in some comforting statistic we got from FOX News?

Or will it be in the God described in this Psalm?

1 The LORD reigns, he is robed in majesty;
the LORD is robed in majesty
and is armed with strength.
The world is firmly established;
it cannot be moved.

2 Your throne was established long ago;
you are from all eternity.

3 The seas have lifted up, O LORD,
the seas have lifted up their voice;
the seas have lifted up their pounding waves.

4 Mightier than the thunder of the great waters,
mightier than the breakers of the sea—
the LORD on high is mighty.

5 Your statutes stand firm;
holiness adorns your house
for endless days, O LORD.

*P.S. I just wanted to be clear that by saying the swine flu is “over-hyped” I am not trying to negate or minimize the real people who are really suffering and dying from this disease. It is a serious thing that deserves our prayers and concern.