For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
I had a wonderful vacation the last two weeks of July. We had a “stay-cation.” Along with seeing grandchildren, kayaking, and bike riding, I spent a lot of lazy days reading. Some of the books were meaningful, but some were simply mind-candy, or so I thought. I read CyberStorm, by Matthew Mather, because I needed a good end-of-the-world story. I guess living in a pandemic wasn’t enough stress.
By the end of the book I realized I was wrong, it too had some redeeming qualities. It described a horrific cyberattack that killed more people than the Vietnam War. The irony is that this apocalyptic book ended up being less threatening than what we are enduring right now. The Vietnam War suffered 58,220 deaths over eleven years. Between the middle of March and August 7 of this single year, we have already experienced over 161,000 deaths. In Cyberstorm, the rest of the world came to our aid. Right now, COVID-19 is ravaging our entire world.
While we can sit and feel sorry for ourselves and fall further in despair, we can celebrate so many things thus far. While our present situation is worse than an apocalyptic novel, our present situation is a reminder that God is still at work. Unlike the characters in CyberStorm, there has not been mass hoarding and physical violence. Of course, that does not include trying to get wipes and toilet paper at Costco.
Amidst everything, people are working together to feed the struggling, provide employment, and work toward a vaccine. While the pandemic has hurt our society, it has not devastated our ability to care, and find hope. Today, prayerfully thank God for keeping our world from panicking and destroying each other. Ask God to strengthen our faith so we can remain courageous and compassionate. As we continue to put our faith through the purifying fires of these challenging times, we can remain hopeful because God is protecting and guiding rather than destroying us with an apocalyptic CyberStorm.