This coronavirus situation has brought a new “normal” for us all. The past few days, my life has been hectic as I create online lesson plans and my husband helps make decisions for our church. In the middle of the chaos, I sat in the Chick-fil-A drive thru with my boys (ages 5 and 3) and asked if they had questions about everything happening. As we waited for our nuggets, they asked one question, “Why?”
That reminded me of something I’m sad to even confess I had forgotten to turn to—the gospel. As parents and leaders, we have the incredible opportunity to point our children and the girls we disciple to the gospel. While some struggle with anxiety, others deal with not-so-great home lives, and our seniors grieve the loss of their “lasts,” the very best thing we can do is give the gospel.
How can you do that? Well, below are the four parts of the Big Story of the Bible, along with some talking points to help guide conversations. Use this as a guide to review the story of the gospel for yourself first. Then, confidently walk with your girls through the gospel to help them understand WHY our world is broken and WHY we have hope!
Creation (Gen. 1-2).
- God created everything good (perfect).
- Adam and Eve lived in perfect fellowship with God and one another.
- There were no sicknesses, struggles, etc., including the coronavirus.
Fall (Gen. 3).
- Adam and Eve sinned in Genesis 3:6, and everything changed.
- The fall impacted every part of humanity. We are born sinners, separated from God at birth.
- Our relationships with one another are also damaged.
- Along with sin, every type of sickness or struggle entered the world.
- Therefore, the coronavirus is ultimately a result of the fall. This isn’t to say it’s a result of a specific sin. However, sicknesses in general are because we live in a fallen world.
- Lovingly, we can remind those we disciple that, though the coronavirus brings much confusion and pain, it’s not our worst sickness. Our worst sickness is our sin.
- When we feel that, “Things aren’t supposed to be this way,” ache in our hearts, the fall is the why. Our girls aren’t supposed to miss their senior prom. We aren’t supposed to struggle with how to handle church gatherings. It’s okay to mourn this brokenness alongside our girls. Praise the Lord, He doesn’t leave us in our brokenness!
- The very first mention of the gospel is in Genesis 3:15! God loves us so much that, as He administered the negative consequences of the fall, He also immediately administered the Hope. He promised to send the Seed of a woman to crush the head of the serpent. This is Jesus!
- The rest of the Old Testament points to the coming of Christ.
- Christ arrived in the New Testament. He lived the perfect life we can’t and died the death we deserve, taking on our punishment for sin. Three days later, He rose from the grave! His death grants the forgiveness of sins for all who have faith in Him. His resurrection defeated death, granting eternal life for all who have faith in Him.
At this point, there are two directions the conversation can go depending who you talk to:
- Girls Who Have a Relationship with Jesus—Remind your sisters in Christ that the gospel is always for us, even after salvation! Jesus rescued us from our worst sickness, our sin, which now gives us purpose. Our entire lives are to be lived for Christ’s glory, including how we handle this pandemic. As believers, we have an opportunity to either shine a light for Christ, or be a stumbling block. Challenge your girls with practical ways they can glorify Jesus during this. They could study the Word, encourage others battling fear with Scripture, point to Christ on their social media, FaceTime others to “fellowship” and pray, and more.
- Girls Who Don’t Have a Relationship with Jesus—Provide an invitation to come to Christ. Romans 10:9-10 is a great place in Scripture to point your girls to if they don’t know how to begin a relationship with Jesus. Wouldn’t this craziness be so worth it if some of our girls come to know Christ?
- You know that ache, “Things aren’t supposed to be this way?” Well one day, they won’t be. Christ will return and restore ALL things to the way He intended!
- We’ll no longer deal with things like the Coronavirus! Use this moment to bring hope. In moments of fear or uncertainty, we can look to Christ and cling to this promise—all things will be made new.
- The song, “Christ the Sure and Steady Anchor,” by Matt Boswell, comes to mind. Specifically, the line, “And the calm will be the better, for the storms that we endure.”
We don’t need to sugarcoat or ignore the hardship of this situation, but we can encourage our girls to remember Christ. The calmness He promises to bring will be so sweet after we persevere through life’s trials. Truthfully, we get too comfortable in this world sometimes. I believe the Lord uses things like the coronavirus to remind us we’re not home. Let’s use this time of self-distancing to reorient our hearts to him, and to remember the everlasting life He has for us.
- Best of all, when Christ returns and restores all things, we get to dwell with Him forever!
We’re being called to minister to girls in brand new situations in the midst of this virus. However, we can trust the promise of Hebrews 13:8, that Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
The gospel is still true and relevant to what we’re facing today.
May we cling to that and to our good Father who’s always reigning on His throne.
Cassie Pattillo is a wife to Jack, and mama to Hunter (5), Isaac (3), and is in the process of adopting from India. Jack is a student pastor, so she loves serving alongside him and investing in teens’ lives. She is passionate about biblical literacy along with writing and teaching about Scripture. She is also a big fan of slow mornings with a cup of coffee, a good book on the beach, and Gamecock football. Connect with Cassie: Blog // Facebook // Instagram