It was all fine when the virus was 2,000 miles away in West Africa. Then word came out that a German national medical student was being isolated with symptoms of Ebola. Then a few hours later news that the man had malaria so the symptoms would be similar. He was responding well to malaria treatment but the blood test would take 48 hours to verify one way or the other.
I found myself playing through different scenarios. The “what if” game was playing big time in my mind. What if Ebola was in Rwanda and being spread without people knowing it? Should our family travel into Kigali if Ebola was there? If this man infected people through a sneeze or some other circumstance (bodily fluid or blood) there could be infected people all over Kigali. I recalled the episode of Myth Busters where germs were spread through a dinner party.
What happened to my solid faith of reckless abandonment for God? Was I being a wimp? Or was I being prudent in my plans? Our family was planning on traveling state-side next month. Would it be smart to move our departure date up if Ebola was in Rwanda? I knew that we weren’t in immediate danger but just the thought of a virus traveling around Rwanda without people knowing it began to concern me.
They hysteria of online posts had irritated me before now. But now I could understand why people posted what they did. Fear. Lack of understanding. Survival. Yes, I was part of the human race. Just like everyone else.
As all of this was being processed in my brain word finally came today that the individual tested negative for Ebola! Praise God! My mind was put at ease, somewhat. But the question still remains. What should be my faith-filled response to Ebola (or any crisis for that matter)? As I read the Psalms I am always surprised at how honest and “messy” the author was in addressing his “issues” with God. “Listen to my prayer, O God. Do not ignore my cry for help! Please listen and answer me, for I am overwhelmed by my troubles.” Psalm 55 The author goes on and on the depair he is feeling. Then I recall the apostle Paul in Romans chapter 7 how he struggled to do what was right. “I can’t make myself do right. I want to, but I can’t. When I want to do good, I don’t.”
I am in good company as I read Scripture. Great men and women of God struggled with day to day issues. I like what Paul said at the end of chapter 7 verse 25 “Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.” My need for a Savior has never been greater than today. It drives me to my knees as I cry out to God, “save me in my weakness. I cannot do life alone!”