Personally, I have encountered many sobering seasons throughout my lifetime. I’ve seen wars begin and end. I’ve witnessed religious persecution break out in totalitarian regimes with surprising speed and violence.
I was among those who watched the news each night, breathless with tension, during the Cuban missile crisis at the height of the Cold War. I have lived through the entire HIV/AIDS epidemic, which began when I was a young pastor in the 1980s. And I can still remember watching helplessly as United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
But I can say I’ve haven’t seen anything quite like the coronavirus pandemic that is currently squeezing every nation in its quick and deadly grip.
At the time of this writing, more than 2 million people have been diagnosed with COVID-19. More than 125,000 have died from the disease. Because of the speed and virulence of the coronavirus, more than half the people on this planet are “sheltering in place” under government- mandated instructions not to leave their homes for any nonessential activity. The world has been locked down.
To make matters worse, the virus’ rapid spread has isolated people from the communities they typically turn to in times of tension and fear. Churches have been forced to close their doors. Restaurants are still making meals, but only for delivery. Movie theaters, bowling alleys and most retail stores are out of operation. And in a move that feels especially surreal to me as a California resident, Disneyland closed its doors to the public on March 14—something that has happened only three times in its 65-year history.
Dr. David Jeremiah is among the best-known Christian leaders in the world. He serves as senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California, and is the founder and host of Turning Point. Turning Point’s 30-minute radio program is heard on more than 2,200 radio stations daily. A New York Times’ bestselling author and Gold Medallion winner, he has written more than 50 books.
The above is an adaptation of Dr. Jeremiah’s newly released book, Shelter in God.