Wake up! Take Possession of the Time!
Recently I have been speaking to someone concerning the need to keep the yard clean in order to kill the mosquitoes that are spreading the Chikungunya disease. In a very nonchalant tone he told me that I worry too much about these viruses that are spreading and that I should trust God. Needless to say he is a Christian and the yard is still untidy.
It is very easy for us to tell someone to ‘trust God’ or ‘I will pray for you’ but we find it very difficult to do the practical things that God requires us to do. Whenever we pray to God about an issue he will always answer us with a solution to our problems. Most times that solution is do a simple act but we tend to ignore it as insignificant. Why pray if you will not be obedient to God?
The Ebola virus is still ravaging West Africa. The recent report from AmeriCares is that the outbreak is expanding instead of decreasing. They reported that the number of confirmed cases is over 13,000 and the number of death is over 4900.
Among the death toll are 310 health care workers. This figure is shocking since I am a health care worker also and never have I seen a virus kill so much medical professionals. This is cause for concern because the healthcare workers are trained to take care of the sick and if they are dying who will do the job?
The CDC has projected that up to 1.4 million people will become infected with Ebola by the year 2015. This figure is astounding and we cannot allow it to happen. Sierra Leone and Liberia are the two countries with the most cases of Ebola and their government has declared a state of emergency. Many activities and services have come to a standstill in these countries because of this deadly disease. Note that an Ebola pandemic can immediately shut down the infrastructure of a city.
What is Ebola?
Ebola is an infectious disease which is categorized by fever and severe internal bleeding. The symptoms include fever, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, sore throat which is followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, internal and external bleeding and organ failures.
The period of time from which a person is infected with the disease and when the first symptoms occur is two (2) to twenty-one (21) days. This is called the incubation period. During this period it is believed that the individual is not contagious. Ebola has a high mortality rate and is spread by infected body fluids such as saliva, urine, sweat, sputum, blood etc.
This disease was first identified in 1976 in an outbreak in Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo. It was named after the Ebola River near the area of the first outbreak. The disease was controlled then but in 2014 it resurfaced in West Africa where it infected thousands of people with many thousands dying. The disease is still not contained and so it remains a deadly threat to the entire world.
What is the origin of this disease?
Many theories claim that Ebola originated in the fruit bats and monkeys in central Africa. Other theories claim that the virus is manmade and was ‘weaponized’ to use in warfare. The literal origin of this disease is unknown but I truly believe that the spiritual origin is from man’s worst enemy – Satan. The fact remains that this disease is here and so we have to eradicate it before it takes any more lives.
The CDC claims that there are no proven treatments or vaccine for the Ebola disease. Only supportive or palliative care in the form of rehydration with oral or intravenous fluid. However, recent report from WebMd claimed that an inhaled version of a vaccine against Ebola worked well in monkeys. The survival rate was 100% in the monkeys who had the vaccine and were afterwards infected with the virus. The researchers claim that this experimental vaccine has a long term effect. They are hoping that at least two types of vaccine that they have been working on will be sent to West Africa by January 2015.
How can you help to stop the spread of Ebola?
The AmeriCares along with other organizations are increasing their medical supplies and protective equipment for healthcare workers to the Ebola affected areas of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. They are also shipping Clorox bleach and other sanitizing solutions that are needed for hand washing and disinfecting the Ebola treatment centers
The AmeriCares and other organization such as Universal Giving are screaming for help in the form of donation in order to provide medicine and supplies to help fight this disease. It is important that we pray for the victims of Ebola and for strength and wisdom for the healthcare workers but we also need to send our monetary support if we can afford it.
The Ebola has not reached the shores of many countries such as the Caribbean. Thus we have an advantage to come together and prepare our countries in the unlikely event that we are faced with this disease. We can start by educating ourselves about this disease and the preventative methods that we can exercise.
Governments can stockpile medicine, medical supplies and protective gears. They also need to train health care workers on how to care for Ebola patients and the proper use of the protective gears.
The most important things that we can do right now are to educate, prepare, prevent, donate and pray. My final advice to you is:
‘See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God. (Ephesians 5:15-21)
‘Redeeming the time’ in the above passage means ‘to take possession’ of the time. ‘Dissipation’ means mental distraction. This means we cannot afford to get distracted by drinking, partying or other trivial things. We need to be wise and be filled with the spirit of God. Only God can give us these well needed attributes so seek him.
Are you redeeming the time? Are you preparing for Ebola? Feel free to share with us your thoughts.