Speaking the Truth in Love

What About God?

Ebola virus disease (EVD) was first identified in 1976. Infected people have symptoms such as fever, sore throat, muscle pain, rash, hemorrhaging, and the loss of liver and kidney function. There is no vaccine for EVD. There is no medication that effectively treats it. Death claims 50% of all Ebola victims.

This risk explains the present uneasiness in the Metroplex. Last Sunday, October 12, the CDC announced that a nurse at Presbyterian in Dallas had contracted Ebola due to a protocol breach. She is the first person to contract the disease in the United States.

America’s keen interest in Ebola is understandable. A contagious and deadly disease with no remedy makes people feel helpless. So far, the 2014 outbreak has claimed more than 4,000 lives in West Africa. Only one patient has died in Dallas. But now another person is infected. Who will be next? No one knows.

However, embracing the media’s hysteria is a mistake. Anyone opening a laptop or turning on the TV will read headlines such as “The Terrifying Ebola Numbers You Need to See.” Really? Terrifying? This year Ebola has taken several thousand lives. This is a tragedy, of course. But compared with death statistics from auto accidents, AIDS, cancer, or heart disease, the Ebola numbers are negligible.

What a blessing it would be if the media led stories with “Pray for Ebola Patients” or “Trust God If You Feel Threatened by the Ebola Outbreak”! We have no reason to expect that kind of wisdom from godless journalists. But the scriptures do give us words of comfort for times such as these: “Is any one among you suffering? Let him pray. […] Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up. […] The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects” (Jas. 5:13-16).

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