(By Mt. Ash Baptist Church Pastor Billy Carpenter)
I suppose many of you like myself are a little anxious or worried about this Coronavirus. The fact we are seeing all sports stopped, colleges and schools have shutdown. Businesses are closing their doors; people are out of work. What’s next? Even churches are closing their doors, like our own.
I have preached in the pulpit at Mt. Ash for the 43 years. What is going to happen next? I don’t know. But I would like to tell you I know the one who knows.
I have discovered a passage in the scripture that has been a real help for me and that is Phil. 4:6-7, 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. This verse seems to reach out a comforting hand and laid upon me like a trusting friend says to me every day is going to be alright.
Don’t worry. Worry is feeling anxious. It comes from the Greek word that means having a divided mind. To feel pulled in different directions. The great preacher Vance Havner said, “worry is like a rocking chair it will give you something to do but gets you nowhere.”
I read that forty percent of the things people worry about never happen.
Thirty percent of the worries are related to past matters which is out of their control.
Twelve percent have to do with anxiety about health problems that are not real.
Ten percent is worry about friends or miscellaneous things which does little good.
Only eight percent of the worries seem to have some bases in reality. And even then, I want to say don’t worry about anything instead pray about everything. God still answers prayers. God said in Jeremiah 33:3, Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
I read of one such instance. In those days, the president of Dallas Seminary, Lewis Sperry Chafer, would be visited by a great Bible teacher who taught part-time at the seminary. Dr. Harry Ironside. Dr Ironside happened to be at the school on that crucial day of the financial deadline. Chafer, Ironside, and other men of the school gathered in Chafer’s office for a prayer meeting. They were asking the Lord to meet the financial need. Dr. Ironside prayed what came to be known as one of his famous prayers. He said, “Oh God, you own the cattle on a thousand hills. Lord, won’t you sell some of those cattle and send us the money?” The secretary came from the office and said, “Dr. Chafer, there is someone here to see you.” Dr. Chafer told her to send him into the office. The man asked, “Are you Dr. Chafer?” He said, “yes, I am.” The man proceeded and said, “Sir, I am a cattle rancher, and I don’t know what came over me, but God told me to sell some of my cattle and give you the money.” He handed Dr. Chafer the money and the amount was exactly what the school needed to meet their financial need to alleviate a crisis. Amen! That is God! He is so awesome!
Now, I want to ask all the readers that are reading this paper and are feeling anxious like myself to take it to God in prayer. While we are not going to church to be together to pray. I want to ask each of you as a believer to join me in the prayer closet at 10 p.m. each night, where we can pray together for our country and our community and each other.