Christians and non-Christians alike are getting the flu…but it is what Christians are saying or not saying that is concerning. See, the flu is something that’s been around for hundreds of years. Yet, even Christians act like it is something to be feared, something we can avoid, something the flu shot can prevent, or something else. Obviously nobody wants to get the flu, or colds, or any other sickness or disease contagious or not, yet for various reasons; genetics, environmental situations, germs, viruses, our own choices, and even sin, they happen.
I am in no way making light of the flu; it is rough and can have horrific effects on people. At the same time let’s not make light of the Light of the World or make light of the truth we shine like stars in the midst of crooked generation. We don’t dim our lights when things get rough. Our words and proclamations matter to God and to others!
Our opinions about the flu are vast and varied but to be perfectly honest every one of them is inconsequential in the whole scheme of things because opinions have very little to do with truth. Whether or not we should get the flu shot; whether we think it prevents or helps stave off the flu; whether it is more or less beneficial to our bodies; whether it is merely a government conspiracy; a pharmaceutical money-making plot; or simply the biggest hoax ever; none of this makes any difference when a person has the flu. Our opinions don’t prevent it from happening and no matter what we do or believe we will never completely obliterate the flu in Midwest America.
Even Christians talk more about the flu and the flu shot, letting everyone know how sick they are along with their belief in the worldly cures than they do proclaiming Jesus. No matter what a Christian believes about the flu and the flu shot why give it so much more time, attention, and credit than Jesus gets? Since our opinions don’t matter it doesn’t make sense to spread those around to everyone we meet and talk to instead of spreading the hope we have in the Gospel message for going through trials, including the flu, and believing Jesus is our cure.
Christians have the privilege to proclaim our hope in Jesus even in times of sickness, including the flu. We get to tell people what He does in our lives every day yet we are more apt to talk about all that is wrong in our lives. And it isn’t about “naming it and claiming it” when it comes to healing. It isn’t about saying Jesus heals and then “Bam, I’m healed.” There are plenty of Christians claiming healing in Jesus’ name who are very sick, leaving pre-believers confused as to what Christianity is about and unbelievers humored at our belief system that doesn’t result in healing very often.
In Jesus there IS healing because He is our Healer. But it is all about Him not a religion or formula. As long as we live on earth we will go through trials and tribulations. Disease, sickness, tragedy, and death will happen. We have a loving God to explain and to comfort us in these situations. Sin exists and we have a Savior to bring us to repentance, to cleanse and purify us in every way. Christianity is about a relationship with Jesus, and as believers, we can boast of our confidence and trust in Him to take us through fiery trials, trying and testing our faith, without incessantly proclaiming our sickness.
For Christians, dealing with the flu epidemic isn’t about claiming healing and all will be well. It isn’t about getting a flu shot in fear of getting the flu or in hopes of preventing it. It isn’t about telling everyone how horrible it is to get the flu and sharing how sick we are with everyone who has ears. It isn’t about being thankful we got the flu shot when we hear how many other people are getting the flu. It isn’t about bragging we don’t get the flu shot. It isn’t about blaming the pharmaceutical companies or accusing the government for propagating a hoax on the American public, and it isn’t about finding alternative treatments.
For Christians, dealing with the flu epidemic is about keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith not on the things of this world. It is about reading and meditating on His Word and living in the fear of the Lord. It is about walking by faith not by sight! It is about trusting in God who never gives us more than we can handle. It is about staying close to Jesus, our Rock and our Redeemer. It is about telling everyone how great our God is and how He takes us through the valley of the shadow of death. It is acknowledging sin and the remedy for sin; Jesus who lived, died, and rose again. It is being thankful we have a Savior and sharing Him with others by telling them what He has done for us personally. It is about praying for wisdom and discernment for our government; praying for spiritual healing along with physical and that people would live fully in the love of the One who is love!
I have some strong opinions about the flu shot too. But they don’t matter anymore than yours do. What does matter is Jesus loves us – and He is the remedy for all things. Talking about the flu, whether we get it or not, and whether we get the flu shot, is not a great use of our time as believers. What will help us get through and be an example for others is to turn our eyes upon Jesus looking fully into His wonderful face, soaking in His healing presence, trusting Him with our bodies, souls, minds, and spirits, committing and surrendering to Him, and we’ll find the things of earth growing strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace! (Yes, that’s a song)
Then our words reflect the beauty of our God who leads us through all things, even the flu, in victory!