The survival of COVID-19 in Spain modified my perception

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Six Church Lessons from the President of the Spanish Evangelical League.

Spain is experiencing the worst crisis since it developed into a modern democratic country. The new corona virus has killed more than 21,000 people and infected at least 200,000 people.

Our Evangelical Church was not spared in this pandemic, and I am one of those who were hospitalized for COVID-19.

I grazed a church of around 350 people in a small town on the Atlantic coast. I am also our sectarian head of state and chairman of the Spanish Evangelical League. But the infection forced me to stop everything.

After 21 days fighting the virus at home and in the hospital, I was finally released. I am full of gratitude and joy, but at the same time I realize that other people who are younger and healthier than me have lost their lives.

Our country is still suffering and moving into an uncertain future. There are still families in my own family who are still fighting the virus – including my wife and mother-in-law. Based on our experience of Spain's efforts to love God and his neighbors in the pandemic, here are the six lessons I learned.

1. We have to remember that we are not invincible.

The first conclusion is for those who, like me, are under the leadership of Christianity. During the recovery period, the most obvious lesson was reminded that I was not a Superman. As pastors, we live in the same world as other people and face the same conflicts and risks. We are vulnerable and therefore we are qualified to lead.

The guidance of those who seem unfamiliar with suffering will never produce disciples, only admirers. My suffering and my experience in fighting disease reminded me again that Heavenly Father had sent a Redeemer, and it was not me.

When I was sick, I also recognized the importance of belonging to a group. When people found out about my infection, my local church, other Spanish churches, and even the whole world immediately responded with prayer. Friends and people I have never seen have sent messages of support and prayers of trust and love. This has become my encouragement and comfort at the most difficult moment.

In those days I was able to confirm the truth of the Bible, we are one. We have a common belief, we are a family. All of this is neither an abstract concept nor a theory that one day we will see in the future, but an obvious present. This is the power to support the sufferer.

2. Let us examine our lives again.

If you participate in a growing number of people, start social projects, and churches are built, but get unexpected illnesses, there are many sudden and undesirable suspensions.

First it was shock, then anger, bargaining, and finally acceptance. At best, an illness can cause a person to grow in just a few hours to several days.

I started by questioning the purpose of COVID-19 suffering. But when I accepted the situation, I gained two insights.

The first is how God takes care of me from start to finish. In the days of serious illness, I had to see death as an option. How should I rate my life? In terms of ministry and pastorate, I feel quite peaceful and have done what I can do in the time that God has given me. But when I think of the child, I have to be sad. Do I have a chance to see how they achieve their dreams and goals? Still, my heart is full of peace and stability, knowing that God will still take care of my wife and sons when I die.

Second, it can resonate with so many people who are in pain. If you are willing to allow God to expand your heart in this process, the benefits that illness can bring to your soul are invaluable. I firmly believe that God's power is enough to heal me, just as His power is enough to save me. I don't think sickness is a punishment from God. But if I wait confidently for his treatment – whether directly or medically – I can better understand other people's suffering. I can understand and recognize that God is still the Lord no matter what happens to me.

3. Let's not play with victory theology.

If I can do something with my platform, I hope I can use it to invite brothers and sisters in America to learn from our European mistakes. It is a pity that the United States is already living in the reality of this pandemic virus, and I hope that our brothers and sisters in Latin America can maintain and expand the defense measures implemented.

When we saw that China was going through a crisis, we said, "This is in China, far from us." So we made no preparations. Then we said in Italy: "This is in Italy, it won't come to Spain." Some fans even went to the most endemic areas of neighboring countries to watch the Champions League. [The game was interrupted later and now it doesn't matter.]

COVID-19 landed in Madrid a few days later, and those of us who lived in other parts of Spain said again, "This is in the capital, we are safe." We are not careful. The epidemic finally reached our city and our family. This is the price we have to pay if we don't respond. Please learn from our mistakes and take this pandemic seriously.

The Church plays an essential role in using wisdom to respond to this crisis. The problem we see is a fragile theology that teaches that prudence does not match beliefs – a victory theology that claims that beliefs make us immune to viruses. …

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