“Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer.” - Revelation 2:10 (NIV)
Everybody’s yearning to hear some positive news today regarding the crises in which we find ourselves. Good news of a speedy vaccine. Good news about declines in Coronavirus fatalities and infections. Good news about our economic recovery.
But quick fixes and rosy predictions are not always the best news we can receive.
One thing worse than suffering is disillusionment about the suffering. Facing a scalpel when you were led to expect a stethoscope causes trauma far beyond the surgery. Professional caregivers do not help us when they side-step the severity of our ills.
In the Hebrew Bible, Jeremiah warned about false prophets and priests. “They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious, saying ‘Peace, peace, when there is no peace.’”
Good news isn’t so good when it leaves us unaware and unequipped to deal with what’s at hand. We are much better served by people who see the depth of our dilemmas and give us candid notice.
Bad news about the lethal spread of Covid-19 back in January would have been much better than the worse news we received in March. Leading epidemiologists have stated that a substantive national response to the spread of the Coronavirus just weeks earlier could have saved tens of thousands of lives.
Truth be told, there is no real indication that this crisis, or even the worst of this crisis, is soon to be over.
Let’s all pray for the best … and be prepared for the worst.
Lord even when it hurts, thank you for the truth that makes us free. Amen.
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Stone Mountain, Georgia.