The world is going through an extremely precarious time, fighting a pathogen – a seemingly invisible enemy. Fear, anxiety, anguish and uncertainty loom large the world over. The enemy has stealthily crept into the whole world. No guns, missiles or weaponry from the most sophisticated arsenal can, even with the best and smartest of all strategies, defeat this enemy. It is likely to run around untamed till human bodies become naturally immune to its pangs. By then a vaccine would have been discovered considering the relentless efforts of researchers world-wide.

The COVID-19 (we don’t know for sure yet whether it is a laboratory grown biological weapon, as alleged by some or a  zoonosis (animal to human transmission) turned into an anthroponosis, i.e., human-to-human transmission) has literally held the whole world to a ransom. The enemy was identified only because of the visible destruction of lives that it began to cause at such an unprecedented scale.

There is yet another invisible enemy who has been causing the destruction of the human soul since the fall of man. He is the devil – satan. The devil has subtly entered the human race, slowly and steadily killing the souls of people, oblivious to their perception. And, he has gone largely unidentified. The doom that the devil has unleashed over the centuries have so become a part of human race, that it isn’t considered unusual at all. And so, there isn’t any attempt to identify this destroyer. On the other hand, we have developed myriad ways and means to cope and adapt to the pain, suffering and destruction all around in forms of positive thinking, counseling, self-help techniques, defense mechanisms, therapies and so on – all of which can only make the body feel better without healing the soul, even though some of them may claim to and even if we go on to believe that they actually do.

Today when the pandemic is racing the length and breadth of the earth, is anyone thinking of adapting to the existence of the novel coronavirus? No one in their right frame of mind would think so. All are eagerly waiting for our scientists and researchers to discover the vaccine that would triumph over the coronavirus, also called as the SARS-CoV-2. A victory over the coronavirus would ensure that mankind is not wiped away – that human life would continue to thrive on planet earth. But what escapes foresight is that sooner or later each human will have to die when their time comes, of causes other than the coronavirus. With the physical death, mortal life would cease. No ambrosia can ensure immortality on earth.

Why then are human minds quick to subject themselves to the deception and the devious schemes of the devil? The devil has held the world at ransom! It is time each human realizes and acknowledges this. But the good news is that unlike the coronavirus, the world doesn’t have to wait for the discovery of an antidote. The antidote has been made available. The ransom has been paid for! The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary was the ransom that He paid so that mankind would be eternally free. It is sad however that in spite of being free, mankind has chosen to shackle itself to the deceptive bonds of the devil. What was required for the release has been paid since long. The deal is done. But, the condition of the human race still remains precarious either because of ignorance or because of the stubborn rejection of the deal.

Imagine the state of those people who would refuse to get vaccinated after the vaccine for coronavirus is successfully discovered. Wouldn’t they be chided for their folly? And if they die because of such stiff-necked refusal, wouldn’t it be woeful? Wouldn’t it be sad if humans end up in eternal death when the gateway of eternal life has been thrown open for them?

The coronavirus hasn’t behaved selectively in affecting people. It has not crept into people of particular geographic locations or particular religions or particular cultures or particular classes of people or any divisive index that you can think of. It hasn’t spared anyone. It has touched the whole world. So also, the devil hasn’t spared a single soul on earth. His prowl has been on the entire human race – being even more permeable than the coronavirus. But, his attack has and continues to go unnoticed because of his ingenuous chicanery.

Just as one vaccine is the answer to the coronavirus, God is the only answer to the devil. Get me right on this, I’m not saying that religion is the answer. I’m not saying that good works or penance are the answers. I’m saying God is the answer. Religious divisions were never God’s idea. God is one and He expects humans to have a relationship with Him – a direct relationship. He doesn’t care for rituals or appeasements. None of the rituals or customary appeasements of the religions can cause the downfall of the devil. 

The devil has already fallen, but continues to reign as the prince of the world because humans have failed to yield to God. So enticing and convincing are the ways of the devil that God seems too far-fetched and mundane.

The coronavirus brings before us a time to look unto the one and only God – the Creator of the world before whom each individual would stand one day. All earthly divisions and factions would not count before Him who did not create those in the first place. What better time can we have than this when almost all religious places world over have been shut for the public and except those at the helm of emergency affairs, all others have the time to spare to think of what is most important – eternity!

It is time to recognize the enemy. It is time to know God and acknowledge Him for who He is. It is time to accept the deal that has paid the ransom for our lives once and for all.

My Prayer for us: God Almighty, even as the world goes through this pandemic, help us to know You for who You are. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of everyday activity, we lose sight of our eternity. Thank you for being the antidote to sin for the entire humanity. Help each of us to rise above shallow factions and fix our eyes on only You. Amen.

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