Hey kids! Nearly every generation has faced some kind of worldwide health crisis. I’ve survived two of them, and I’m sure you will too!
The year I was born, a horrible virus called “polio” reached its peak in the United States with 58,000 cases and over 3,000 deaths. The virus caused paralysis—the inability to move—especially in children and killed half a million worldwide every year during the 1940s and 1950s. In the 1960s a vaccine to prevent it was developed, so we lined up in our school gyms to get the vaccine dropped onto a sugar cube. Polio was virtually eliminated, so you’ve probably never heard of it.
Then in the 1980s—when your mom and dad were your age—another virus spread across the world: AIDS/HIV. Those initials stood for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome and Human Immunodeficiency Virus. Big words that simply meant that the victims’ bodies could not fight off common bacteria and infections. Right now, your God-created body is fighting off all kids of bacteria and you don’t even know it. When people don’t that protection or “immunity” their body is defenseless and they die. During this time up to 43 million people died of AIDS/HIV, so it was a really scary time. But again, medicines are keeping people with it alive. And like polio, you’ve probably never heard of it.
And now you’re facing the virus of your lifetime: coronavirus. And it’s scary—just like AIDS scared your parents and polio scared your grandparents.
So here’s some encouragement from someone who has survived all that.
First, I—and everyone else my age living today—survived polio, AIDS/HIV, and 97 out of 100 of us will survive coronavirus—if we catch it. And the vast majority of those who have died were seriously ill before they ever caught it.
Second, and this is most important, even though this is a scary time, Jesus promises us his peace. If we have given our lives to Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are promised eternal life, so even if a Christian dies of coronavirus he or she will live forever in heaven and we can see them again. This is an opportunity—with all the time on your hands—to get to know Jesus better through reading your Bible—Mark is a good book to start with—and praying. Tell him about your fears and allow him to give you his peace. And pray for those with the virus and the medical staff working to save their lives.
Third, wash your hands, cough into your elbow and avoid crowds and you will be fine!
Finally, four, know that you are so very loved and are being prayed for! We’re going to get through this and before you know it, you’ll be telling your own kids how you were cooped up in the house for weeks, went to school and church online, ran short on toilet paper . . . and came through it with your trust in God.
Copyright ©, 2020 James N. Watkins
Photo: Izzy Park
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