A friend of mine holds Covid responsible for the death of her young adult son. Zeke loved the Lord, but struggled with heroin addiction for a number of years. He had managed to amass four years without using and was doing well. When Covid came along, Zeke, like many others, lost his job. Sitting around home left him looking for an escape from the boredom and the feeling of uselessness, and he succumbed to the temptation to use heroin again. As is often the case with a drug relapse, Zeke started back using the dose of heroin that he had been using when he quit, 4 years prior. Unfortunately, his body had, at that time, built up a tolerance to the drug and he, as is typical, had been increasing the dose to get the desired high. However, by going back to his last dose, after 4 years without use, he accidentally overdosed and died.
My faith was impacted by this tragedy. I experienced negative feelings at first: what a tragic waste of life; what a horrible loss for his family; why do such things have to happen? In considering these feelings, a number of things reinforcing my faith occurred to me. First of all, Zeke was a believer in Christ. Romans 8:39 tells us that nothing “in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (NIV). Because of his faith in Jesus to pay for his sins, Zeke has inherited eternal life (John 3:16). I was also reminded that God is sovereign, and despite the tragedy we feel, “without the will of [our] heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from [our] head” (from Westminster Catechism, Question 1). I don’t see with God’s eyes or understand with His infinite wisdom and comprehension, but I trust that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). And because of His sovereignty, God owes me no explanation for the tiny slice of life that I see and experience, while He sees and designs the entire infinite, eternal plan. Job reminds us of this perspective: “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know” (Job 42:2-3).
This entire Covid pandemic has many of us questioning why and how such a thing has happened. We are not given the answers, but the only thing I really need to know is that God is in control. Trusting Him provides me His promised “peace that passes all understanding.” Thanks be to God.