Uncertainty. Uncertainty abounds as the coronavirus spreads. Will we able to continue with our church services as normal? Will the school be closed? Will the Olympics take place? We don't know the answer to these questions.
The situation is constantly changing. There is also our concern for those who are weak and vulnerable. Many are anxious about their own health and the health of their loved ones.
The current crisis is a clear reminder to us of the uncertainty of life.
We make our plans and set in place our arrangements for the future rarely ever thinking that what we have planned for may not come to pass.
James warned us about this when he said: "Now listen you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money'. Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lords will, we will live and do this or that' (James 4: 13-15)."
On one occasion Jesus told a story about a rich farmer. The man had a great harvest and decided it was time to expand his farm.
He planned for the future, putting up new, larger sheds in which to store his crops and goods. Then he was going to sit back, eat, drink and be merry.
The trouble is the farmer forgot about the uncertainty of life and the suddenness with which life can end.
Jesus tells us that on the very night when all his plans were finalised, God spoke to him and said: "You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?' (Luke 12:20)"
It's a solemn story and one which, in many ways, we don't like to read.
But it reminds us of the uncertainty of life and of the need to have a living personal faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.
In these uncertain times we need to listen to James and to Jesus.
Uncertainty abounds, but if we know Jesus, we are ready to face everything that comes our way. Ultimately, we will be ready to meet with Jesus when he comes or calls.