There have been 3 confirmed cases of Ebola in Dallas, Texas in the past month.
For those of you who live in Dallas like me, you’re already well aware of this fact. You’ve also probably (and hopefully) educated yourself of the way Ebola is spread (contact with the blood or body fluids of a contaminated person or animal, as well as through contaminated objects.) We took a poll in my government class today, asking about 600 students what their thoughts were about the outbreak of this deadly disease. 90% of them responded saying they were “Very Concerned”. And BOY, does it show!
Everyone around here is anxious. Avoiding large crowds and washing their hands incessantly (although, I approve of this precaution for various reasons). But this is just the tip of the iceberg. People have had some pretty unbelievable reactions to the Ebola outbreak. Let me give you a few examples.
- A community college in Texas recently announced a new rule: They are no longer accepting applicants from countries with confirmed Ebola cases. As a result, a well-qualified Nigerian applicant was rejected.
- Some pizza deliveries were halted to doctors and nurses who worked in the same building as Ebola patients in Georgia.
- Hazmat suits and other protective gear have become extremely popular on the stock market – experiencing even 50% increases in just the last month!
In addition to all of that, I’ve experienced my own bout of prejudice in light of this hot topic. Try having a cold at the same time as all of this deadly disease talk is going around. Every time I sniffle or even sneeze in class, half of the classroom looks as if they wish they had worn their own hazmat suit to school that day.
All jokes aside, these recent events have pointed me towards a question that many of us may be wondering right now: Why are we so afraid of epidemics and diseases that can’t be cured? Well, it all has to do with that last part: it can’t be cured. So the real problem is that we are afraid of the possibility of death.
We’ve all heard the phrase “life is a highway” before. So consider this for a minute.
Let’s say I just got off of a stressful day at work and I’m back on the highway, headed towards home. Back at the house I’ve got a loving husband, a happy atmosphere, and everything I could possibly need to kick-back, relax and enjoy my evening.
Of course I’m going to want to go home, especially after that stressful day at the office!
Now consider a different scenario. Let’s say I just got off of a stressful day at work, and I’m back on the highway, headed towards home. At the house I’ve got an abusive husband, a negatively charged atmosphere and so much stress that my day at the office seemed like a piece of cake in comparison. My mentality would completely change and I wouldn’t want to go home. In fact, I’d probably try and think of a way to stay on that highway for as long as I could!
Where is home for you? Are you at peace knowing that you’re headed towards a loving God who is thrilled to spend time with you and a joyful home in Heaven? Or are you completely overwhelmed by terror at the thought of not knowing what eternity has in store for you?
“When people sin, they earn what sin pays—death. But God gives his people a free gift—eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23 (paraphrased)
Folks, we don’t need to be afraid of anything if we know we’re headed towards something much better. Regardless of how we leave THIS world, we’ve been offered life everlasting in eternity with God. A life that is SO much more joyful, beautiful and enjoyable, might I add. The question is, are you willing to take Him up on His offer?
Here’s a promise from Jesus to remember:
“I assure you, anyone who hears what I say and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life. They will not be judged guilty. They have already left death and have entered into life.” – John 5:24 (paraphrased)
(Note: Any of the lightheartedness I expressed in this blog doesn’t take away from the fact that the Ebola outbreak is certainly a serious matter. Please pray for those who have been affected in any way, shape or form – this includes the doctors and nurses who are in close contact with with the disease, and especially for the infected patients and their families during this troubling time.)