We're Not the Only Ones

Guest post by Matt and Erica Auch

“A disease that was spread by the rich as they flew around the globe will now kill millions of the poor.”

We’ve all been shocked these last few weeks as a new reality has started to set in, full of uncertainties and fears about what the future might hold for us, our family, and our society.
Many of us are anxious, afraid, maybe as afraid as we have ever been. Can I ask you to pause, and consider: “What is it I’m afraid of? What am I afraid of losing? What is it about this crisis that violates my sense of security?”

Or perhaps for others, maybe in the uncertainty you are still a little skeptical: “maybe it won’t be as bad as they say it could be” or “everyone’s just overreacting” or “I doubt that I’m ever going to get the virus”. No one knows what will happen, you could be right. But what if you’re wrong? What is your confidence in? Why do you feel so secure? Could it be because we’ve lived such a sheltered existence in our entire lives that we can’t imagine such a threat becoming a reality?

We’ve built up such a sense of security in our country. Most of us have generally been comfortable our entire lives. Sure we've suffered a disappointment here and there, but we genuinely expect to continue to be comfortable in the future. We expect that the grocery store shelves will always be full of precisely the food we want and that we will always have money to buy it. We expect that if we get injured or sick that the doctors and hospitals will be there to save us with every medical device and drug that has ever been created.

To us, that’s normal. We can’t grasp those things not being there. We can’t conceive of life apart from the systems that bring us a sense of security. We can’t even imagine the grueling reality that millions of people live in every day. Because those things - access, options, comfort and convenience - are not normal. This current crisis is the closest many of us have ever come to simulating something of the scarcity and insecurity that so much of the world experiences as ordinary. So I want you to try to imagine it.

Getting Outside Ourselves...

Imagine someone knocking on your door in the middle of the night warning you that if you do not flee your country you and your family will be killed.

Imagine trying to fall asleep at night with the sound of bombs going off in your neighborhood not knowing if the next one will hit your own house.

Imagine the shrill cries and screams of a mother holding her dead child, when all he needed was a simple antibiotic to cure his infection.

Imagine walking around the corner in your village one day and being snatched by a group of men, to be abused and sold as a slave to “work” in the city.

Imagine only being able to provide one meal a day for your family and watching your children slowly becoming more and more malnourished.

It’s overwhelming to think about isn’t it? But this is the reality for many around the world today. And every day. Their normal is suffering, death, hopelessness, fear, and slavery.

Now imagine, within that context, on top of these difficulties and threats… this pandemic.

Enlarging Our Vision

Here is some perspective from an Indian doctor:

“Social distancing is a privilege. It means you live in a house large enough to practice it. Handwashing is a privilege too. It means you have access to running water. Hand sanitizers are a privilege. It means you have money to buy them. Lockdowns are a privilege. It means you can afford to be at home. Most of the ways to ward off the coronavirus are accessible only to the affluent. In essence, a disease that was spread by the rich as they flew around the globe will now kill millions of the poor. All of us who are practicing social distancing and have imposed a lockdown on ourselves must appreciate how privileged we are. Many Indians won’t be able to do any of this.”

And many are undergoing these circumstances without Jesus. They have never even heard his name. They daily face horror beyond what we can imagine with literally no hope. Not even an awareness that the hope offered in the gospel exists.

But Jesus sees them in their situations. Matthew 9:36 says, “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”

Following Jesus means we must see the world with the eyes of Jesus. To see, we must first take off the blinders we wear to block out the suffering world beyond our comfortable surroundings. May the insecurity we now feel, our current experience in this pandemic, wake us up and open our eyes to the daily experience of insecurity for so much of the world.

It’s overwhelming. Maybe we block out the world’s problems because we feel like we can’t do anything about it. But what can we do?

The next verse, Matthew 9:37 says “Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few, therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’”

We can start with prayer.

Brothers and sisters, We must bow before the throne, during this time of uncertainty and fear, and pray for the nations which have been affected. We must pray with urgency for the salvation of many who do not know Him, many of whom are dying right this minute without ever hearing about Jesus.

Jesus is the hope for the hopeless; peace for the fearful; freedom for the captive; and life to those who are walking in the valley of the shadow of death. May we as believers come seeking, knocking, and asking the Lord for an awakening among the lost of the world, so that they too will come to know Jesus as their hope and that life is worth living because He lives!

Please consider the following three resources as a next step in taking responsibility to intercede for the nations:

Here is a video leading prayer for the world during this time:
Download the Operation World App or visit Operation World
Download Unreached of the Day App or visit Joshua Project

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