It's been a week since COVID-19 crept into the spirit of men causing darkness to cover it. The first burst of fear into men's mind showed the worse of individuals. Greed. Greed because of panic. Panic because of fear. Fear because death.
Ever since the fall in the garden of Eden, death has been men's deepest fear. No one wants to die. Why? Because deep inside us cry for life. Men were not meant to die. It was never God's plan. But sin entered, and death found it's way into the flesh and spirit of men.
Hearing about people panic buying in the grocery stores was weird and didn't seem true. Until one day, we went to Walgreens to buy alcohol. We were told they were out. We tried other stores and witnessed empty shelves. The truth sat in, right in front of my very eyes. This is really happening. People were buying alcohol more than they normally use to fight the virus infection. I wasn't too naive to not wanting to get one. It's an alternative for my family to clean hands when soap and water are not readily available when we are out and about. Well, especially in this time of virus scare.
So that night, I went online. If I can't find it in the stores, maybe I can find it online. After all, you can buy everything in the virtual world. But lo and behold, Amazon was out of stock. People selling them on eBay in ridiculous prices. The sad thing was, people were buying them. Out of desperation, people were willing to pay $40 for what used to be $3+ alcohol.
But God was so, so good to me. I found online a local store that sells alcohol by the gallon. Not just 12oz, but a gallon! That's the smallest amount they sell. I ordered online that night, picked it up the next day. Yay! Who would have thought? Well, I do! I believe that I have the God who provides and supplies. Now we have a gallon of alcohol sitting under our sink, ready to grab when needed.
I tried fear to not overcome me. I prayed Psalm 91 over my household. My family took communion more than we normally do. We prayed for the blood of Jesus to cover us. My husband and I talked to girls about what is going on, and how we should not be afraid because God is our protector.
One morning while I took the Holy Communion with my girls, and prayed after for our safety and protection, my older one said, "Mama, I am glad we believe in Jesus." I asked her why. She answered, "Because we are protected." There is nothing I hoped for but for my girls to understand what it is like to believe in Jesus. What she told me was joy to my heart. "Perhaps, I am doing the right thing," I muttered to myself.
When I found out that churches were not coming together on Sunday services, I was mad. I had questions. Why now when you are needed the most? Why now when the people need your light? Why are you hiding church? Why are you scared? I thought we believe in the supernatural God. Then why are we fearful? What will the world think of us?
I didn't understand. I complained to my husband about it. I just could not believe that the church would come into such cowardly decision. Yes, that's what I thought of it. Decision out of cowardice. I felt embarrassed as a Christian. If the government doesn't restrict us to gather together in a church building, then there's no excuse to not do church.
Saturday afternoon, I found out that the lead pastor of Mosaic church, Erwin McManus, announced on Instagram that they too were holding online service streaming. Knowing Erwin, I couldn't believe it. But the local government advised not to gather together with more than fifty people. The government authority had spoken. Everyone must respect. That included me.
On the morning of March 15th, we watched the live streaming of our local church's service. It was actually our church's premier to live stream through a Youtube channel. It was a little weird at first. Totally not the same as when you are actually doing worship with the congregation physically. But God was obviously there in the midst. I felt Him. I experienced Him.
While engaging myself to the newness of this online church service idea (not only with my local church but as well as other churches I follow from other states), the Holy Spirit opened my eyes and made me understand the "why" of this new thing. I realized that my sharing the link of the live streaming to my social media account actually reached people in my circle who are not church goer or who are not believer. In a time like this when the world is full of fear, when people are desperate, when people hit rock bottom, when people asked questions no one can answer, when people feel unsafe, when people lose hope, when the world is wrapped in darkness, the church is there to shine its light as far as it can go. We couldn't do this if we are contained in a building with an attendance of people you can count. Doing church online reaches more peopl. A lot of it. And as a member of the body of church, I can do my contribution by sharing links on my social media to reach the people that God put in my circle. How awesome is that? The wisdom of God! He always, always turn things around for the good of those who love Him. I wouldn't know how many people turned to Him and received Jesus as their Lord and Savior with the very simple gesture of sharing a link. But God knows, and heaven rejoices. And this shall continue until God says it's over. For now, I will do what the church needs me to do—shine my light.