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Take care of each other during the coronavirus outbreak and know that God will never forsake you

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Ron HemphillHebrews 13:5b - "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."

What is it that you fear the most? I presently am sitting in Joplin, Missouri. Just before I left on this trip, the coronavirus scare, which now has become a reality, was just taking hold. People were talking about this and that and all the "what-if's." As case after case was reported, and the cases began to grow closer to home, fear began to take over.

I was in a Wal-Mart store in Neosho, Missouri the other day and witnessed two people screaming at each other tugging and pulling on a package of toilet paper. Yes, I heard the stories and YES I saw this myself. 

I've seen the jokes and laughs on Facebook like the rest of you have, and I have laughed or chuckled at them too but really it's no laughing matter. Toilet paper — come on people, have we fallen so far as to fight over toilet paper? 

People hoarding paper products, anti-bacterial sprays, hand cleaner, rubber gloves, etc., etc. Yes, I know we must use wisdom, and no, I don't have my head in the sand or any place else, before you go there. I can remember a time when people looked out after each other, when neighbor checked in on neighbor. I know we don't live in that era any longer, but we should still be concerned with each other. 

After 9/11 our churches filled up to capacity and more. Then when the initial scare was over, they went about their merry little way. My point is, when people get scared, they turn to that point, that rock of safety. They turn to Jesus. Why is that? Well, the answer is in this verse out of Hebrews 13. Friend, this is a very real promise that the Lord made to us. I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU.

I know there are times when it looks like the Lord is nowhere to be found. I have found it is not the LORD who has left you, but rather it is you who has left Him. Judgmental, no sir I am not, but I do like to tell it like it is and shoot from the hip, as the old cowboy says.  

THIS TOO SHALL PASS. It is only a matter of time before this thing passes. They will find a serum, an antibiotic to fight against it. BUT, until they do, we must behave ourselves like civilized people and not run rampant over one another. Let us pray, seek God, and let us check on one another. We are a great people, a great nation — let's live up to that and remember God's promise: "I WILL NEVR LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU." If you can't find Him try looking behind you. It just might be that it is you who has left the Lord. God bless.

Ron Hemphill is the pastor at New Life Bible Chapel. He can be reached at 541-447-6543.


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