The COVID-19 pandemic has left more than a million people infected and has affected hundreds of millions with unprecedented shutdowns of “regular life” as we know it. We’re all concerned about our health and that of our friends, family members, and neighbors. And beyond health concerns, we worry, “Will my job have to be cut because of industry shutdowns? Will financial systems or other society vitals collapse, or even the production and distribution of food? Could another Great Recession (or Depression) be triggered?”
How should we respond to the chaos? Thankfully, as Christians, we have a hiding place during the storm. God tells us that we can run to Him for help at any time, but especially during difficult and frightening times like these. The psalmist wrote, “You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word” (Psalm 119:114). Yes, God is our hiding place—but what exactly does that mean?
David says God is “my lovingkindness and my fortress, my high tower and my deliverer, my shield and the One in whom I take refuge, who subdues my people under me” (Psalm 144:2). This verse shows several ways that God is our protector, sending waves of comfort through the minds and hearts of those who trust that the Bible is true: High tower. Deliverer. Shield. Refuge. Hiding place. These verses remind us that God promises to protect us, and that His protection applies to illness, hunger, violence, and other dangers.
While the pandemic surrounds us, we should take physical precautions the very best we can. The Bible gives us many health laws that are relevant to dealing with the coronavirus, including the principle of quarantine (Leviticus 13:4, 46). While we take physical precautions, we should earnestly ask God for protection from the virus and protection from other lasting effects that it may cause. We can read the scriptures about Him being our hiding place and enjoy that truth and comfort. We should also thank Him for all the protection He has provided for us in our lives—in times when we recognized it and times when we didn’t.
However, we still live in Satan’s world (Luke 4:6; John 14:30). God doesn’t promise that we will never experience hardship. He does protect His people physically, but He also allows trials and extreme difficulties in our lives. In Acts 14:22, the Bible says that “we must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” Trials help us build character and faith. God has a long-range plan. He wants to protect us in our physical lives, but He even more wants us to obtain eternal life (John 3:16). We can rest assured that even when trials do come, He will make a way of escape for us so we are able to bear them (1 Corinthians 10:13). That promise still stands.
As Christians, we should run to our spiritual hiding place and sincerely ask God for His protection. We should also ask Him to bring His Kingdom soon. That Kingdom, with Jesus Christ ruling as its King and Healer, is the place of total protection, a place where tears, pain, danger, and death are completely replaced with laughter, health, joy, safety, and life (Revelation 21:4).
In hard times like these, it is extra-important that we draw close to God.