I traveled again to France this week to register the campers that could not attend our meetings in December because of the national strikes in France. But this week it’s a different kind of calamity to hit France and my international travels—-the Coronavirus from China. At the time I am writing this devotion, over 200 people have died and over 10,000 are infected. Experts expect 100,000 will get infected in the next few days and 2000 will die by the end of February. Even now, 7000 tourists are stranded on a cruise liner off the coast of Italy because a Chinese couple on the cruise have apparently come down with the disease. 7000 people stranded indefinitely!
In China 50,000,000 people are quarantined in their home towns and all international flights to China have been cancelled by USA airlines. I was at the Ohare airport in Chicago and was amazed at how empty it was! Our plane had less than 20 people in the coach class—-and there were seats for 350. This is having a devastating affect on the Chinese economy and especially the “invincible” façade the Communist Leadership has tried to portray. It’s been said that this virus, more than anything else, could signal the fall of the communist dictatorship of China Imagine that—-a microscopic organism fells the largest standing army and second biggest economy in the world.
People all over the world have been praying for China and the billion people that are denied the freedom to worship God or receive the good news of Jesus Christ. To preach the gospel in a manner that offends the communists will land you in prison indefinitely.
We pray assuming that God will do things this way or that way, and then He comes in and does things in a way no one would ever imagine. The Coronavirus will not remove the dictatorship, oppression, censorship or lack of freedom in China, but I believe that it might be the spark that does what Tiananmen Square, the protests in Hong Kong and a 100,000 human right leaders have not been able to bring about. (These very words will be removed from any blog in China—that’s how fearful the leadership in China is about truth.)
Which bring me to this point: Truth. Do we want it? Can we handle it? Does it scare us? It scares the leadership in Beijing and in the minds of any despot. Truth is the enemy of dictators, the communist party, and Satan himself. We are watching the leadership of our nation coming apart at the seams because many (most?) do not want to hear, see or admit the truth if it gets in the way of their agenda or personal goals.
But the closer we draw to Him, doesn’t it come to reason that the more we will embrace and yearn for purity and truth, and the more we will find a lack of total truth and morality distasteful and unsettling? Friends, I am not at a place of total truth, pure morality and transparency yet—I am not. But I want to be that man, and forgetting what lies behind me I am pressing on to the goal of being like Jesus.