9/11 is the only event I can remember that comes close to resembling our current crisis. Contrary to what my elementary students think, I do not have first-hand knowledge of World War I or World War II. I'm old, but I'm not that old!
At our church I was responsible for leading the Bible study that followed 9/11. For this Bible study, we went back to the source. We read Bible verses, talked about how they applied to us, and we prayed.
We read Psalm 56:3, the first verse I ever memorized as a child: "What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee."
We examined verses like Genesis 8:1 and Genesis 19:29 where God remembered people like Noah and Abraham and acted on their behalf.
We lingered over passages such as Deuteronomy 31:6: "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you."
We were encouraged by Jesus' words in Matthew 28:20: "And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
We discussed that God does not always remove our suffering, but he is always in the midst of it with us.
We ended our time by reading 2 Timothy 4:13 and 1 Timothy 5:23. As the person I asked to read flipped to the passages he said, "You have the wrong verses."
"No," I replied. "I think we need to discuss those verses."
"Really?" he said, as he continued to read ahead. He finally read 2 Timothy 4:13: "When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments." He read 1 Timothy 5:23: "Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and frequent illnesses."
In those verses Paul acknowledged what the Bible says throughout its pages, namely that we are both spiritual and physical creations. Paul asked Timothy to bring his coat and books, which would comfort him. Paul told Timothy to care for his body and take the tummy medicine of the day. Today, just like then, it is our responsibility to care for our physical bodies while we also care for our spiritual needs.
The physical care list we created for post 9/11 is the list my husband and I are using during this current crisis:
These are uncertain times. We now add to the list things like we wash our hands for twenty seconds, we don't touch our face, we stand six feet away from people when we go to the grocery store. As Christians, we must gather spiritual strength from our source—Jesus and his word. We must also make a plan to care for and comfort our physical bodies.
Keep strong and healthy!