But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. – Matthew 6:33
I was once asked what combat was like. Believe it or not, my answer described a feeling that I am almost sure a lot of you have been feeling.
“Will ‘it’ happen to me?”
“If ‘it’ does, how bad might it be?”
“What are my chances of surviving ‘it’?”
“What can I do to improve my chances against ‘it’?”
“What can I do to help others from getting ‘it’?”
These were all questions that found myself pondering for the year that I was deployed for combat in Iraq in 2005. Every day of that year was accompanied by a sort of very low-level hum of anxiety or tension not only for me, but for the people around me. How might I do just one more thing to improve the chances that we all make it back whole? This was a constant worry as we lived day to day that year, a year during which we were shot at in some way every day.
Every. Single. Day.
It seems that a whole lot of people these days have that same sort of worry. Although they go about their lives as best they can under difficult circumstances, the worry is never far from the forefront of their minds.
For me, in 2005, I tried to convince myself that it wouldn’t happen to me. Or, that it wouldn’t happen today. Or that if it did happen, I’d live. Or, if I didn’t live that I would be accepted into God’s kingdom. I finally resigned myself to His will being done.
I should have just skipped all the “ifs” and gone straight to that last sentence.
God is sovereign and His will is going to be done. I don’t believe for a minute that God will allow a virus to undo us. No way! What I DO believe is that He is watching how we as a family, as a nation, as a world are reacting to this.
In combat, we followed our training and common sense. We cleaned our weapons twice a day, we test fired at the range before every patrol, and we rehearsed EVERYTHING. It was what we were trained to do and it was common sense. There was literally nothing any of us knew to do that we did not do to be ready. That’s all we could do. The rest was in God’s hands, and He was faithful to us.
It’s not all that different in the current pandemic. Wash your hands, don’t touch your face, and keep your distance, and use common sense. It’s simple guidance that anyone can follow.
Just as importantly, if not more so, we must guard our spirits. Christ tells us not to worry in Matthew 6, reminding us that God will take care of His Children. That doesn’t mean He will spare us every heartache or give us a life of ease. What it does mean is that He has a plan, and it’s better than any plan we could have made.
Stay in the fight!
Col. Ken Vaughn
Chief Operating Officer