A Mask of Faith
Posted by sharon on Apr 30, 2020
God has a plan for my life. He holds my fate in His hands. I know He protects me.
But I also take steps to protect myself -- especially during this deadly coronavirus pandemic.
Yes, I wear a mask in the grocery store. I wash my hands. I carry hand sanitizer. I wipe down doorknobs and counter tops. I spray Lysol.
Does that make me a hypocrite?
Does striving to protect myself contradict my faith in God's will to keep me safe?
Some people these days say yes. They’re the ones walking boldly through crowded areas and flying on planes without facemasks. They gather at church services, despite government orders to stay at home. They feel superior, mocking social distancing on Facebook. They shrug off the pandemic as frenzy, while people around the world die from a disease we can't see or control.
But I don’t pay them much attention. They need to read their Bibles.
In the Bible, you see, God often protected believers by giving them the insight, wisdom, or escape route they needed to protect themselves.
Remember David? He practiced social distancing for safety reasons long ago. King Saul was trying to kill him, and David fled alone to the Cave of Adullam. Supporters joined him at the cave later, but in the beginning David separated himself to save himself.
Remember the battle of Jericho? Before the walls came tumbling down, Israelite spies snuck into the city. Jericho leaders tried to capture them, but a safety plan shielded them. The plan? The spies hid on the rooftop of a prostitute's house. I imagine they could have done nothing, stayed exposed in plain sight, and expected God's glory to miraculously shield them. But that’s not how God protected them. They had to participate in the safety plan. Later, those spies and the rest of God’s chosen Israelites defeated the people of Jericho.
I could go on with Bible stories of God giving knowledge and instructions, so believers could take part in their freedom, their escape, their healing. During the original Passover, He instructed the Israelites to put blood on their doorposts, so their firstborn sons wouldn’t be killed like the Egyptians'. The Apostle Paul fled several times during his missionary journeys, after learning religious leaders wanted to kill him for spreading the Gospel. Even Jesus took cues from the Father to avoid potentially dangerous situations -- until the appointed time came for His crucifixion.
No, God's people didn’t simply dismiss the valuable information they learned. They didn’t neglect wisdom, do nothing, and declare that God would protect them anyway. They recognized that the intel they received was God, Himself, directing their steps.
The truth is that God uses people and circumstances to speak to us. (He’s been known to use a donkey, too, by the way.) He gives us what we need to make wise decisions, and He gives us free will to follow His instruction or not.
That’s why I choose to wear my mask in crowds now. I'll admit, it's been a scary time, but I don't practice safety out of hysteric fear. I do it because I believe God is giving us information through the experts and others in positions to speak to our world today.
The destruction of COVID-19 has hit close to my family, so I don’t take it lightly. In the end, I know God’s sovereignty goes beyond my efforts to stay safe. For some, He has allowed sickness. For others He allowed death. I don't doubt that some who contracted the virus tried to protect themselves, too, and I pray for families suffering through grief right now.
For me, I believe God has so much more for me to do, more to give, more to experience here on earth. I won’t test the free will He gave me by making careless choices that jeopardize my future. When I put on my mask and look in the mirror, I see a woman who isn't contradicting her faith, but one who proves her faith by praying, listening, and obeying, until this season passes. And, one day, it will pass.Back to Blog Posts