My son asked me this morning, “Has Ebola gotten to Arizona yet?” followed by “What if I die from Ebola?”
Statistically, it’s not particularly likely, but it is very hard not to worry when it’s all over the news. You can’t turn on the radio without hearing about it. Spreading across Europe, one patient in the U.S. dead, two nurses confirmed to have contracted it, contradicting reports on how it’s spread and whether or not it’s safer to restrict flights in and out of infected countries, and so on.
Those who are politically minded are spouting conspiracy theories while those who are prophetically minded are claiming the fulfillment of Revelation. There may or may not be some truth to both of those extremes, but the bottom line is that people are scared. This is new in this country, and new is always frightening. Here in Arizona in past years we’ve had to deal with the West Nile virus, and all over the country people are contracting the Enterovirus, but those diseases, while far more wide-spread than Ebola at this point, are not getting near the news coverage, because Ebola is new and different and people have died, and it’s scary.
But fear should not be ruling us. Despite the statistical improbability of actually contracting Ebola, we are not given a spirit of fear, but of power. Ultimately, our lives are in God’s hands. Whether or not there’s an outbreak of Ebola in the US, whether or not we get hit by a truck when we go out to get the mail, our lives and our destinies are in God’s hands. There is nothing that happens to us that He doesn’t know about. There is no disease that is more powerful than He is.
So while this may be a plague of apocalyptic proportions, it may also be just another disease in a long line of diseases that infect a fallen world, and either way, our futures are in God’s hands, and we should not, therefore, live in fear.