(New Plan) Coronavirus and Christ - Day 1

Come to the Rock

Playing the odds is a fragile place to put your hope. Odds like 3 percent versus 10 percent, youth versus old age, compromised health versus no history of disease, rural versus urban, self-isolated versus meeting with friends. Playing the odds provides little hope. It is not a firm place to stand.
There is a better way. There is a better place to stand: a Rock of certainty rather than the sand of probabilities.
When Cancer Came
I recall being told on December 21, 2005, that I had prostate cancer. For the next several weeks, all the talk was about odds. Odds with waiting to see. Odds with medications. Odds with homeopathic procedures. Odds with radical surgery. My wife, Noël, and I took these numbers seriously. But in the evening, we would smile at each other and think, Our hope is not in the odds. Our hope is in God. 
We did not mean, “It is 100 percent certain God will heal me, while doctors can only give me odds.” The Rock we are talking about is better than that. Yes, better than healing. 
Even before the phone call from the doctor telling me I had cancer, God had already reminded me in a remarkable way about the Rock under my feet. After my usual annual exam, the urologist had looked at me and said, “I’d like to do a biopsy.” 
Really? I thought. “When?”
“Right now, if you have the time.”
“I’ll make time.”
What God Says
While he was going to get the machine, and while I was changing into the typical unflattering blue gown, there was time for me to ponder what was happening. 
So he thinks I may have cancer. 
As my future in this world began to change before my eyes, God brought to my mind something I had read recently in the Bible. 
God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. (1 Thess. 5:9–10) 
Awake or asleep—that is, live or die—I will be alive with God. 
How can that be? I am a sinner. I have never lived a day of my life—not one—without falling short of God’s standards of love and holiness. So how can this be? 
It’s because of Jesus. Jesus alone. Because of his death, there will be no wrath toward me. Not because of my perfection. My sins, my guilt, and my punishment fell on my Savior, Jesus Christ. He “died for us.” That’s what God’s word says. Therefore, I am free from guilt. Free from punishment. Secure in God’s merciful favor. “Live or die,” God said, “you will be with me.” 
That is very different from playing the odds with cancer—or with the coronavirus. This is a firm Rock under my feet. It is not fragile. It is not sand. I would like it to be a Rock under your feet in these anxious times.

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