Evangelist Anne Graham Lotz recently explained how painful situations in her life allowed her to encounter God “in a fresh way” and said God might also be using the COVID-19 pandemic to “get our attention so that we will listen to His message.”
In a blog post last month, the founder of AnGel Ministries and daughter of the late Billy Graham said the “threatening black cloud of the coronavirus has enveloped our nation,” reminding her of Exodus 19:9, where God said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you.”
“In the past four years, I, too, have entered into a black, terrifying cloud,” she admitted. “My husband’s sudden, unexpected death; my father’s death three years later; my diagnosis of cancer and the subsequent surgery and follow-up treatments have been personal storms as fiercely threatening as the storm that has now broken upon all of us.”
“But there was a silver lining to the black cloud in my life because it was in the cloud where I encountered God in a fresh way,” the Jesus in Me: Experiencing the Holy Spirit as a Constant Companion author continued. “I have ‘seen His glory, His character in the dark cloud. I have experienced God’s faithfulness to meet my needs, His grace to pour out His blessings through family and friends, His strength to enable me to endure triumphantly, and His goodness to bring me through one day at a time.”
“Throughout the four stormy years, I never once lost my joy, or my inner peace, or the steadfast hope that God was in control and would work out all things for my good.”
The 71-year-old Bible teacher asked, “Could it be that God is using the coronavirus to get our attention so that we will listen to His message?”
“It’s time to pray! It’s time to turn away from our sin, self-centeredness and secularism, and turn to God in faith and trust,” she stressed. “Now. Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and He relents from sending calamity…”
“If we heed God’s message, He can calm the storm and bring us through to a time of spiritual revival and national renewal,” she concluded.
Previously, Lotz suggested the new coronavirus — which has affected over 609,600 people in the United States as of Wednesday — might be a sign of the coming end times and stressed the importance of making “sure we are right with God so that we are ready to meet Him whenever the time comes.”
"This is a time to pray for ourselves, our families, our nation, and all those worldwide whose lives are being devastated by the death and disruption this disease is causing,” she said. “You and I need to make sure we are right with God so that we are ready to meet Him whenever the time comes. And then join me in helping someone else get right with God.”
“Let’s pull out all the stops as we tell others that it’s possible to have peace in the midst of the storm and confident hope for tomorrow, claiming Jesus’ promise, Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age,” she concluded.
Last month, pastor David Jeremiah cautioned against speculating the coronavirus is a “sign of the Second Coming of Christ,” encouraging Christians to instead view it “as a sign for today. A reminder of things we too easily forget.”
The coronavirus teaches us the vulnerability of everyone; the credibility of the Bible; the uncertainty of life; the scarcity of hope; and finally, the sufficiency of Jesus, the bestselling author said.
“Jesus doesn't just overcome the event. He overcomes the environment where the event happens,” he explained. “In these challenging days, we cannot forget what Jesus told us in 2nd Corinthians 12:9, that His grace is sufficient for us. You will find that out during these days, if you haven't found it out already. The sufficiency of Jesus Christ for those who have put their trust in Him will be on display everywhere.”