The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has infected thousands of people and caused unprecedented shutdowns of “regular life” as we know it. We’re all concerned about our health and that of our friends, family members, and others. And beyond health concerns, we worry, “Will my job have to be cut because of industry shutdowns? Will financial systems or other society vitals collapse, or even the production and distribution of food? Could another Great Recession (or Depression) be triggered?”
No one knows the answers right now. How should we respond to the chaos? Thankfully, as Christians, we have a place to run. We have a hiding place during the storm.
A major principle runs throughout the Bible. God tells us that we can run to Him for help at any time, but especially during hard and scary times—like these. For example, in Psalm 119:114, the psalmist wrote, “You are my hiding place and my shield, I hope in Your word.” God is our hiding place—what exactly does that mean?
A hiding place provides protection. During times of war, disease, or other dangers, people seek to hide in whatever way they can. Even David, when he was running from King Saul, spent much time in hiding because he sought physical protection. He was in great danger of being killed, so he hid from that danger. The purpose of a hiding place is to provide protection from danger or harm; so, as the example of King David shows, there is a time to “hide,” or take precautions (Proverbs 22:3; Proverbs 27:12).
How does that apply to our life today, and how does it apply to God? As our hiding place, God protects us. In Psalm 144:2, we read how the psalmist describes God: “My lovingkindness and my fortress, my high tower and my deliverer, my shield and the One in whom I take refuge, who subdues my people under me.” This one verse shows via several metaphors that God is our protector. These words send waves of comfort through the minds and hearts of those who trust that the Bible is true: High tower. Deliverer. Shield. Refuge. Hiding place. These verses remind us of the fact that God promises to protect us, and that His protection applies to illness, hunger, violence, and other dangers.
While the coronavirus spreads and creeps all around us, we should take physical precautions the very best we can. The Bible actually gives us many health laws that are relevant to dealing with the coronavirus, including the principle of quarantine (Leviticus 13:4, 46). While we take physical precautions, we should earnestly ask God for protection from the virus and protection from other lasting effects that it may cause. We can read the scriptures about Him being our hiding place and enjoy that truth and comfort. We should also thank Him for all the protection that He has provided for us in our lives—in times when we recognized it and times when we didn’t.
With that said, the fact that God is our hiding place carries an even bigger meaning. Yes, God is our hiding place and protection in this physical life, but we still live in Satan’s world (Luke 4:6; John 14:30) and God doesn’t promise that we will never experience hardship in this life. God does protect His people physically, but He also allows trials and extreme difficulties in our lives. In Acts 14:22, the Bible says that “we must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” Trials help us build character and faith. The second element of God being our hiding place is that God is our hiding place spiritually. God has a long-range plan. He wants to protect us in our physical lives, but He wants us to obtain eternal life much more (John 3:16). We can rest assured that even when trials do come, with His help they won’t be more than we can possibly bear, and therefore His promises still stand.
A phrase swirling around in conversations and news is, “I’ve never seen anything like this.” The Bible says that extreme suffering will occur in the form of pestilence, war, famine, and other disasters before the return of Jesus Christ (Matthew 24). As fear and mass disruptions multiply, Christians should run—not physically, but spiritually. We should run to our hiding place and sincerely ask God for physical protection. In addition to that prayer, we should also ask Him to bring His Kingdom soon. That kingdom, with Jesus Christ ruling as its King and Healer, is the place of total protection, a place where tears, pain, danger, and death are completely replaced with laughter, health, joy, safety, and life (Revelation 21:4).
In hard times like these, it is extra important that we draw close to God. If you would like to read more about seeking God in prayer, you may enjoy the free booklet Twelve Keys to Answered Prayer.