1 Peter 5:6-7 (ESV)
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
Are we being humbled?
It is amazing that a virus one thousandth the width of a human eyelash can humble humanity. We are at a loss to overcome our viral nemesis, SARS-CoV-2. The greatest scientific minds have yet to offer a viable response to the deadly novel coronavirus. We are under the control of a virus that is not alive but very much in power. The virus has silently subjugated corporations, financial markets, governments, institutions, and communities. A reality is returning, a hard pill to swallow: we are powerless. When a non-living “chemistry set” can evade our immune defenses, infect us, and permanently damage our lives, we are truly powerless. All of the boasting and bluffing we. There is one word scientist us to describe populations lacking any defenses against a virus: naive. Behind our boasting and bluffing of natural immunity and durability we are afraid. Why put on such a show if we are not afraid? And we remain afraid until we realize there is a higher power. Today’s passage acknowledges that God is the higher power, but God will not destroy the coronavirus. God is the mighty hand that will lift us up over our situations, no matter the source of our anxieties. God will carry the burden of our anxieties. What does that look like? There seems to be a universal temptation to ignore official COVID-19 guidelines to wear masks and maintain social distancing. Just today, I have seen people without masks standing almost face-to-face in public spaces. Humbling ourselves under the mighty hand of God looks like wearing masks and keeping six feet apart. We need not show off as if we are fearless and strong, because we are not. Here is the reality. We are fearful human beings, worshipping a fearless God. Let God have our fears. Are we being humbled? Yes. We are humbled when we admit our fearfulness and put on our masks.
“What else does anxiety about tomorrow bring you but sorrow upon sorrow?” Thomas à Kempis, 15th century A.D. German-Dutch Christian