By Chaplain (Capt.) Rich Baldwin
How do you combat an enemy that cannot be sensibly perceived? How can you determine their strength when the only evidence of their existence is the body count? What’s more, how can you effectively neutralize this enemy when their attacks turn your own into enemy foot soldiers? In short, you can’t. This is, of course, the exact enemy we face with things like COVID-19.
In a war against an enemy we cannot see, one of the greatest temptations is succumbing to a perceived sense of powerlessness and fear which threatens to overtake us. We do our best to limit the spread of the virus by practicing social distancing and restricting the use of public spaces. However effective these measures are at slowing the virus, they have a profound effect on the human psyche; they actually reinforce the feeling of dread and powerlessness we are experiencing.
In these times where do you turn for comfort?
The God of the Bible offers some encouraging words to his people as they experience overwhelming odds, fear and powerlessness.
“…O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you. And he said, ‘Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s,’” 2 Chronicles 20:12,15.
Hearing God say, “the battle is not yours but mine,” reminds us that we are not alone. We have a champion who fights on our behalf; we can trust him to carry us through these challenging times. Let us present our fears and our powerlessness to him; may these words of comfort be ours during these times.
(Editor’s note: Baldwin is the 701st Military Police Battalion chaplain.)