Human history has been subjected to constant bouts of infectious diseases. Sometimes these have grown to pandemic proportions leaving death tolls in the millions worldwide. The Black Death (the bubonic plague) dramatically affected European populations wiping out up to 50 million people in the mid-14th century. During the early 20th century governments battled against the influenza pandemic which took up to 50 million lives including 675,000 in the United States. Then small pox killed upwards of 300 million people across the globe throughout much of the 20th century.
Our modern world still battles infectious diseases and one receiving the most headlines is the Ebola virus which was first identified in the 1970s. As I write, the virus has fortunately not reached pandemic levels yet.
How should we respond if we are faced with the genuine threat of a virulent disease going global? Our generation has access to pictures, videos and real-time reports like never before. As a result, it can lead to feelings of anxiousness or fear. Let me pass along a few things we can do.
Do research. Let us educate ourselves making use of the Internet, our local library and our personal physician.
Do common sense thinking. Exercising old fashioned common sense goes a long way towards becoming and staying healthy.
Do some filtering. Use discernment in following news reports on Ebola. Sometimes information conflicts, is not accurate or is taken out of context.
Do pray. We should do all we can in the areas of science, medicine and technology to tackle disease. However, is that enough? What about God?
God speaks of Himself saying, “For I am the LORD, your healer” (Exodus 15:26). He wants the world to know who He is. He is the Healer. Then He invites the world to seek Him by saying, “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me” (Psalm 50:15).
God cannot be any clearer. In the face of stopping a spreading disease our first action, not last, should be to seek God for His healing. And though people of different religions and of no religion may be affected, there is only one God we must pray to and only one Who can heal. He is the God who made the heavens and the earth and gave the world Jesus. May He be your hope for today and peace in the face of uncertain times.