Ebola and me?

Ebola.  The very word conjures up all manner of anxiety within and without. The word hit our awareness when two committed missionaries contracted the dread disease while serving those suffering in Liberia.

I don’t know about you, but I followed breathlessly Kent Brantley’s arrival in Atlanta and prayed for Nancy Writebol. Their stories touched the hearts of people around the world.  Thankfully both survived the dread disease and Kent now gives blood to support others also infected.

The story continues now and the awareness of danger draws close to home when a Liberian man comes to Dallas and the danger grows closer, New York next, and so the crisis develops.  We do not yet know the outcome.

Because I have just been studying the Life of Moses and  just completed reviewing the 10 plagues God used to deliver the Israelites from Egypt this is fresh to me.  Pharaoh’s heart was hard and he would not let the people go.  As the plagues develop, even the magicians in Pharaoh’s court acknowledge, “this is the finger of God.” (Exodus 8:19) Later, as further plagues fall, many Egyptians also begin to acknowledge the God of Israel and respond to the warnings. (Exodus 9:20) Those who observed the power of God feared him and likely those whose hearts were open believed.  In fact, this is the first time I realized that those plagues were not only judgment but also evangelistic!

In the book of Amos God speaks to his wayward children, Israel. He states over and over that natural calamities were intended to call His people to repentance; yet over and over Amos relates God’s word, “yet you did not return to me.” (Amos 4:6,8,9,10,11)

Could it be possible that God is once again reminding us that He is the one to be feared and worshipped?  Could we recognize that we are not in control, He is.  Might Ebola be a message that could call us to return to Him? A call to examine our hearts and listen to any warning He might be sending? I’m just wondering and praying.


Gwynne Johnson currently serves on the Board of Entrust, Inc., an international education and training mission where she authored the Entrust curriculum, Developing a Discerning Heart. She recently served as Co-Chair of the training project, Christian Women in Partnership, Russia and as Senior Director of Women's Ministry at Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas. Gwynne has a M.A. in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. She currently lives in Huntsville, Texas with her husband of 58 years, Don. She works part-time in her daughter and granddaughter's bakery "The Best Box Ever," where she gets paid in cookies.