Despite our best efforts over the past 10 months, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to attack us. We are currently experiencing a spike in cases, and government officials are scrambling to respond.
All of the challenges associated with the coronavirus have caused our tensions to rise as we seek out an enemy to blame. Some believe politics is at the heart of the problem. Others blame inept health care experts, incompetent or corrupt news media, those who don’t obey restriction mandates and even God for allowing this to happen to us.
Jesus offers us another way to see the problem.
In John 10:10 and following, Jesus identifies himself as “the Good Shepherd.” He contrasts his love and care for the sheep with the enemy, who comes only to steal, kill and destroy. The evil one is a predator who watches for an easy kill. Satan preys on the elderly, sick and isolated. He uses lies, rumors and half-truths to confuse, create fear, fuel chaos and scatter the flock.
Half of winning a war against the enemy is naming who the actual adversary is. Once we know that Satan is responsible for this season of division, we stop fighting each other and gather under the protection of our “Good Shepherd.” In John 10:27, Jesus states, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”
Jesus helps us to recognize dangers and appropriately respond to them. He gives us wisdom and inspiration to find ways to bridge gaps in relationships, receive joy in our suffering, ward off depression and overcome fear. He speaks to our situations and gives us strategies for love. Because of that, we must strive to obey His orders for us and refrain from judging how someone else follows their divine orders.
Unity and the ultimate defeat of Satan’s plans are not the responsibility of political parties, health care officials or news media. It is our responsibility as followers of Jesus Christ to hear our master’s words and obey them.
This year is a time of testing. Will you succumb to fear, only to be divided, isolated and destroyed, or will you cling to the words of our savior, resist the devil and force the evil one to flee?
The choice is yours.