Until just recently, the only books written on a pandemic were history books and science fiction novels–neither of which seemed to include “HOW TO SURVIVE” instructions for future generations to follow.
It seems to me that there are often two choices involved when we are faced with a situation that we know little to nothing about:
Faith or Fear; Fight or Flight; Persist or Quit; Look for Answers or Ignore the Truth
For me, not knowing is the worst.
Tell me what’s wrong, and I’ll face it head on. Show me the way and I’ll push forward. Give me the honest truth, and I will give an honest response.
The problem with a pandemic is that we live in a social media world that puts out so much information that you can’t be sure who you can trust. News channels do more than just report news or the facts. In our current day, the information that is chosen to be broadcast to the world is often sold as truth when in reality it is nothing more than an “experts” opinion or a political party’s view.
So what do we do? What do we do with so much information? When you can easily scan the internet to get anyone and everyone’s opinion on a particular matter, where do you turn to find the truth?
If you know me, you know where I’m going with this.
Opinions change. Traditions, trends, and even morals change. Whatever political party you choose to align with is not the same as it was even 20 years ago. History often repeats itself, but because we live in a technological age, even history can be skewered as it is written to reflect the perspective or the opinion of the writer. With information so readily available, the real struggle can be in finding truth.
Why is it, then, that we look to so many other sources before looking to God’s Word? Our focus on hearing from the experts, seeking a professional’s opinion or looking for answers from a trusted source, we turn to man instead of God.
“But know this: difficult times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy… lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the form of religion but denying it’s power… always learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.” 2 Timothy 2:1-7
Is it a coincidence that these words written almost 2,000 years ago sound strangely accurate? You can argue that every generation has had the propensity to these same temptations, but you cannot argue that in this age of information, we are more knowledgeable than ever, but farther away from the God who created it all.
Paul writes this letter to Timothy as almost a last will and testament, saying, “I have fought the faith, I have finished the race…” (4:7) He encourages his younger charge to be grateful, be loyal, be strong, be faithful and to hold true to the Scriptures.
“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing those from whom you have learned, and that from childhood you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” (v. 14-15)
So I come back to the original question: “Where Is The Instruction Manual For This?”
It’s all there. It’s all in the Bible. God’s Word.
Those same encouragements that Paul gave to Timothy are for us as well. He was living in a much more difficult time than a pandemic. He was persecuted, tortured, imprisoned and eventually martyred for his faith–but his words of advice to those who would read his written words decades later?
BE GRATEFUL BE LOYAL BE STRONG BE FAITHFUL
HOLD TRUE TO THE SACRED SCRIPTURES
I know. You think it’s overwhelming. You say you’ve tried reading it and have struggled through it. Does it even make sense that the most important book in the world is hard to understand? Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s not right. And good. And beneficial for your life today. Start slow. Read one of the gospels (the first four books of the New Testament). Or a book packed with wisdom: Proverbs–you can read one a day for 31 days. I wrote a devotional for every day based on the book of Proverbs that starts Day #1 here: Looking for Wisdom? 31 Days of Proverbs. But don’t just take my word for it–read it for yourself and start a journey that will reveal true history. God’s story is the instruction manual you are looking for.
**For anyone who is interested in joining me, I am memorizing a verse from every book of the Bible! You can start with me today with this verse from 2 Timothy 3:16-17, or at the beginning with Genesis, here: Scripture Memory Challenge