Posted on June 5, 2020 by Catey Stover in Freedom Fighters
We hear a great deal about the number of virus cases and the number of deaths it has caused. We hear of increased alcoholism, drug abuse, child abuse, family feuding, “cottage fever,” feelings of isolation, etc.
We want the ban to be lifted but we’re afraid to do it. We have political cowards who have no plan and wait for one to be presented so they have something to criticize. We have political leaders who are so far removed from reality in their own lives that they cannot empathize with those who are in real distress.
One report said that during the last month there were 1,800 calls to the California hotline when a normal month has about 22 calls. That’s an 8000% increase. Men’s hearts are failing them for fear.
JAMA Psychiatry reports that in 2018, the U.S. suicide rate was already at 14.8 per 100,000—dangerously close to those Great Depression rates. The average rate between 2008 and 2018 was about 13.1 per 100,000. If the U.S. rate jumps in the same manner it did after the 1929 stock market crash, then the national suicide rate could rise to 16.6 per 100,000. In other words, 2021 could see more than 54,000 deaths by suicide (versus about 48,000 in 2018). The 6,000 excess deaths would be additional victims of the coronavirus emergency and its economic impact.
Reuters states that “already, there are reports that isolation measures are triggering more domestic violence in some areas. Prolonged school closings are preventing special needs children from receiving treatment and could presage a rise in dropouts and delinquency. Public health centers will lose funding, causing a decline in their services and the health of their communities. A surge in unemployment to 20% – a forecast now common in Western economies – could cause an additional 20,000 suicides in Europe and the United States among those out of work or entering a near-empty job market.”
Yet 1 Corinthians 10:13 from The Message (MSG) says, “No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.”
Allow me to illustrate:
We have long-time friends living in a retirement community. The details of their medical history are too lengthy to enumerate in detail: multiple heart surgeries, multiple carotid artery surgeries, liver function, lung and breathing difficulties, gout, strokes, etc. You get the picture.
Where are they now? He is in a rehab facility that is completely locked down. She is just ready to be released from the hospital, and will be going to the same rehab facility but isolated for 14 days, and that will make it more than 8 weeks since they have seen each other in person (except for a doctor’s visit and about 30 minutes outdoors several weeks ago), even though they are only a separated by a few hundred yards!
And how are they doing? Well, they are not jumping up and down for joy, but neither are they wallowing in pity. He just was placed in a new room where he has an outside view, after 7 weeks! She, for a brief time while released between hospitals and rehab, has had opportunity to be with her children who gathered from Michigan, Colorado and California.
Do they have down days? Of course. But seldom do I get off the phone without hearing about the Lord and His goodness.
Could I do the same? I know that the Lord promises grace at our specific time of need. I know and have sung all of the great songs: “Peace in the Midst of the Storm,” “Wonderful Peace,” “Through It All,” “Peace Like a River,” “Till the Storm Passes Over,” etc.
Paul relates his infirmities, especially his thorn in the flesh which he asked to be removed three times, but heard this answer, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (I Cor. 12:9)
When you’re given lemons, make lemonade! I’m not sure I’m very good at that. How about you?
What is the virus fallout for you? What have others observed about you during these days?
Written By Neil Fichthorn: Rev. Neil Fichthorn is a seasoned conference and camping servant having served at Gull Lake Bible Conference, Sandy Cove Ministries as President, and an interim Executive Director at Pinebrook Bible Conference. He also served in church music for decades as a choir director and arranger. He has been Bill Welte’s mentor and friend for over 45 years.
Think About This: “You can see God from anywhere if your mind is set to love and obey Him. – A.W. Tozer
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. –Matthew 16:24-25
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.