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Cancer, Coronavirus, and Christianity 

Last week I chatted with a gal who’s recently been diagnosed with cancer. Well, I suppose the diagnoses isn’t super recent; she’s already finished radiation and she’s waiting to hear whether it did the job. 

Honestly though, I often forget this friend has cancer because she hasn’t missed a beat. I’m sure life has changed for her, she’s faced difficulties I can’t see, and she’s surely been busier with all types of appointments. But as for her demeanor — she’s still the same joyful, intentional, servant-hearted person I’ve always known.  She now just has an extra dose of wisdom and perspective because of this trial. 

But what struck me most in my conversation with this gal, was her extremely evident, worry-free, eternal-minded perspective. Because she has a blood cancer, it has potential to grow and become a problem at any point in her life — meaning, cancer will be an ongoing issue she deals with. Yet instead of dwelling on this fact, she quickly pointed out that though she has a “blood problem,” everyone has a more serious problem: a “heart problem.”  In other words, yah, cancer is no good — but the real problem is the spiritual problem that still plagues the hearts of many. It’s those who don’t have Jesus that are in trouble. Basically, instead of worrying about her tomorrow, she’s focusing on other’s eternity.

Remembering the Eternal

On one level, we hear of people like my friend, and we think, “Wow, what perspective!” But on the other hand, don’t you just want to say, “Duh. Of course!” It’s like a friendly little slap in the face reminding us what we already know: that life on this earth is so very temporary, but the souls around us are so very eternal. Of course we should be extremely concerned about people getting right with God! …And perhaps a little less concerned about the number of our days. 

And that brings me to the Coronavirus.

We may not all be faced with cancer anytime soon, but we are being constantly reminded that our future is unknown. And the question is, how are we handling it? 

I’m in no-way saying that the Coronavirus has anything on cancer, but that’s sort of the point. This friend of mine actually has a serious health issue that won’t be going away anytime soon, and she’s not worried, she’s completely trusting God, and she’s focused on what matters most. Should we not have that same mindset when we are faced with the mere possibility of contracting a new virus of some kind? As Christians, we absolutely, undoubtedly, should.

A Christian Response to the Coronavirus 

Not worried, trusting God, and focused on what matters most — that is exactly what our response should be to the health scare that has every retailer sold-out of toilet paper and water bottles (but seriously people, why the water bottles?!). I digress…that’s besides the point. My point is our hearts ought to stay calm. 

Whether we stock up or don’t, our hearts should be calm. 

Whether the virus comes to our town or not, our hearts should be calm. 

Whether your loved ones are at risk or not, your heart should be calm. 

The reality is, there’s no point in worrying (see Matthew 6:27). God is in charge, and all we can do is be wise, and trust God with what happens next. 

Not to mention trusting God gives us brain space (and emotional energy) to care about what really matters. And that isn’t primarily a virus problem, a blood problem, or any type of cancer for that matter. Those are all temporary problems. The real problem for people all around us is a spiritual problem that isn’t going away any time soon, unless they embrace Jesus as their Savior.

Point to the Real Solution 

Back to my friend; I love that she’s using her cancer as a platform to speak truth, because people will listen to her. I can say, “I trust God, and you should too,”  but when she says it, it speaks louder. She is proving she trusts God by staying steady during a faith-testing trial. 

Yet, that’s kinda where we all find ourselves right now. We can all prove our trust in God as we face these days of uncertainty. What’s especially interesting is we are all in the same boat as our neighbors and co-workers and friends — we are all wondering if we are going to contract the virus with no-cure and an unknown outcome. But we can stand out. Our faith in God can speak louder than ever if we stay steady when the world starts freaking out. 

But we shouldn’t stop there. We should boldly bring up the bigger issue — the “heart problem” we’ve all already contracted. And when everyone’s a bit more attune to life’s fragility, what a perfect time to speak up about a problem that will far out-live Covid-19. 

But the best part is, unlike the Coronavirus, the spiritual cure is known. And it is available to every single person. Not to mention, it’s not going out of stock and it’s not hard to get your hands on. Let’s speak of Jesus, the solution to our ultimate problem.

May the truth of salvation prove far more contagious than the Coronavirus — because we Christians are using the platform, we’re not worrying, we’re trusting God, and we’re focusing on what matters most.

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