Let me start off by saying that I’m a HUGE germ-a-phobe! I hate, despise, and loathe entirely flu season and hold a special hatred for stomach bugs. Anytime someone comes around me and even mentions that their stomach is hurting, I break out into a sweat and have to fight back panic attacks…for real. So know that what I’m about to say is something that I’m preaching to myself as well.
Fear, Anxiety and Ebola
Since the sudden “outbreak” of Ebola has happened, I’ve been very surprised at the response it’s receiving from some people–mainly Christians. So many believers whom I know are filled with anxiety and fear that somehow, someway they could be infected with this disease.
Recently, I’ve even discovered that many churches are canceling missions trips due to the Ebola scare. Sadly, many of these trips aren’t even to the continent of Africa! Others here in the states refuse to travel at all for fear of getting it.
So much FEAR. So much anxiety and worry and…for what? Doesn’t the Bible tells us not to do those things? I’m pretty sure that it was Jesus that said “why worry you can’t add a single hour to your life by doing that. So why do it?” (Matthew 6:27, paraphrased by me)
As a Christian conservative I’m upset at how I’ve seen many news outlets and conservative blog posts adding to this fear. Stirring panic in the people of America does not do any good. So for those of you who are worrying, let me try and ease your mind some.
First, lets talk about Africa.
My friend said, “Africa is a continent, not a country, and it is 3 X the size of the USA.” So, why did he say this? He’s putting this into perspective. Is there a problem in some countries of Africa with Ebola? Yes. Do we need to be aware of what’s going on there? Absolutely!
But we must also know that there’s a bigger picture here. As far as things go here in the States, we’ve had 3 people, to my knowledge, infected with Ebola. One died and he was from the West part of Africa. The nurses treating him both lived.
With 38,000 people a year dying from the common flu, Dr. Robert Schooley stated in this yahoo article that “more people will die this winter from the flu than from Ebola.”
In that yahoo article we see that there are bigger concerns for us here in the states than that of Ebola. By sharing this, I’m hoping that it will help you find a better perspective than what the media has championed.
The Christian Response to Ebola
As Christians we should certainly be more level-headed about these things. Did you know that early Christians have outlasted plagues while continually loving and caring for non believers? When everyone was fleeing Europe due to the black plague, Christians stayed and risked their lives to care for others. They would not only bury other Christians that had died from the plague but would also bury others who were not believers. It was their belief that this was the best time to show the great hope that was within them.
They wanted to show a great love and mercy to those suffering. That same love and mercy that Christ has shown them. This reaction and care simply dumbfounded the pagans. They couldn’t understand why these Christians would do such a thing and risk their lives, but the Christians welcomed the opportunity to live out the Gospel when it mattered most.
By caring for the sick, feeding the hungry and consoling the dying, Christians were becoming the love that Christ wants expressed through His people.
So friends, with that example of the early Christians, let’s follow their example and be that peculiar people who make the world question us and say “who are you and why are you doing this? Friends, that’s what being a believer in Christ is! Believing that God is sovereign and that He holds us, he cares for us; resting in His peace and showing that peace and love to others is what makes us stand out.
Remember that Paul exhorts us in Philippians 4 to “be anxious for NOTHING”…that even means pandemic plagues.
It’s my prayer that this blog will bring you peace and comfort, even as it challenges your thought processes.
Follow Logan on twitter @loganmerrick