So I am a natural-born worrier. Even though I know it’s not right—-this is one of my biggest struggles in life. Naturally, with the constant barrage of news and panic about the coronavirus, worry and fear have been a battle for me. This morning, when I was talking to Jesus and saying, “I just don’t want to live the next few weeks afraid”, I remembered a few lines from the movie Apollo 13. In this movie in the middle of the crisis, the NASA Director says, “This could be the worst problem that NASA has ever faced.” That’s when Gene Krantz replies, “WIth all due respect, sir, I believe this is going to be our finest hour.” These words caused something to stir inside of my spirit as I thought, “This is not the time for the followers of Christ to crumble in fear with doomsday attitudes. This should be our finest hour.” This should be a time when the true followers of Christ rise up as a light in a dark world spreading peace, calm, and most of all hope. Rather than allowing our conversations and timelines to be filled with panic, we should be exhibiting faith. Faith that God is in control. Faith that says after we’ve washed our hands and done our due diligence, we are not going to allow fear to control our lives. This is a time for prayer. As born again Spirit-filled believers, we should be praying against this virus. It’s not the time to cancel church, but rather to have prayer meetings. If your locale shuts down your building, then have online prayer meetings. As someone who has seen someone I loved healed of life-threatening pneumonia, I know that prayer changes things. One way to make this our finest hour is to spend less time panicking and more time praying. This could also be the finest hour for outreach. The fact is that whether it is disease or panic-driven, the world is going to go through a rough time. This is a good time for the church to show love and compassion by helping those in need. Instead of hoarding our resources for ourselves, help a neighbor in need—show the love of Jesus. As the weeks go on, we can minister to people who are sick. Even if people are eventually quarantined we can call, email, pray, and encourage. Seriously people, the fields are ripe for harvest—-let’s make this our finest hour and find ways to reach people. It’s also a good time to talk to people about eternity. While the minds of so many are filled with fear of death, there may be opportunities to tell them why we are not afraid—-because we have the hope of eternity in Heaven with Jesus. It’s a time to look for Spirit-filled opportunities to share the message of salvation, to share hope, to ask people if they know where they will spend eternity. Perhaps it's even a good time for casual Christians to examine themselves and ask if they are really prepared for eternity. Please understand, I’m not saying we should play on people’s fears. I just believe that in a world that rarely takes time to think of mortality, eternity, and the fate of their souls, we should be open to opportunities to share the Gospel that will save not just their lives but their souls. The truth is that this is a difficult time. Yet, it’s also an opportunity for Christians to rise and shine. It’s a chance for us to differentiate ourselves from the world that is spreading panic and fear and doomsday prophecies and add a different voice. It’s a day for us to be strong and courageous. It’s a day to let our light shine and share the hope that we have in Jesus. It’s a time for us to abandon selfishness, fear, panic, and show that through the Holy Spirit, we can do all things. Today is a day to put all of the teaching we’ve heard and the preaching we share into action. It’s time for us to change our minds and influence the world around us for good. This doesn’t have to be our worst day—-it can be the church's finest hour. So yes, wash your hands. Buy your toilet paper and prepare. But then spend some time with Jesus in prayer and let the Holy Spirit fill you with His courage, His strength, and His empowerment so that you can be a positive reflection of Jesus. Remember: Coronavirus does not determine your future—Jesus does. Walk in faith, abandon fear, pray like never before, and allow the Holy Spirit to use you. Make this the finest hour of our faith.
Adessa Holden is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God specializing in Women's Ministry. Together with her brother, Jamie, they manage 4One Ministries and travel the East Coast speaking, holding conferences, and producing Men's and Women's resources that provide practical Biblical teaching for everyday life.
When asked about herself, she'll tell you "I'm a women's minister, a sister, and a daughter. I love to laugh and spend time with people. My favorite things are chocolate, the ocean, sandals and white capris, anything purple, summertime and riding in the car listening to music. It is my absolute honor and privilege to serve Jesus and women through this ministry.