Allie Pressman, the eventual protagonist in Netflix’s “The Society,” was walking away from a heated tête-à-tête with a political foe, Lexie, when she told her, “You’re half right about everything, you know that? And that’s worse than being wrong.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York has battled his way through the coronavirus pandemic, advocating for his state and even petitioning God for help. In early April, he said he was praying for the families of those who have lost loved ones to the virus. But as the numbers have steadily declined, he’s turned his attention away from the Almighty and back to his own efforts.
Should God receive any credit for the earlier than expected downtick in coronavirus cases? According to Cuomo, the answer is no.
Last week, he told journalists it’s not God who is helping New Yorkers through the pandemic. Instead, it’s their own efforts alone making the difference.
“The number is down because we brought the number down,” Cuomo said of the latest coronavirus statistics. “God did not do that. Faith did not do that. Destiny did not do that. A lot of pain and suffering did that. … That’s how it works. It’s math. And if you don’t continue to do that, you’re going to see that number go back up, and that will be a tragedy if that number goes back up.”
The governor’s words reminded me of that conversation on “The Society.”
Allie, a teenage girl thrust into leading a group of peers suddenly and inexplicably abandoned in what appeared to be a parallel universe devoid of any adults or semblance of structure, was trying to warn Lexie of the complexities of the make-do mayorship she was determined to win. Hoping to dissuade Lexie from causing the collapse of her hard-fought successes, Pressman told her she was “half right about everything.”
Like Lexie, Cuomo is half right. And it’s perhaps worse than being wrong.
There’s an innate hubris that comes with the human territory — and it’s a breeding ground for dangerous ignorance.
To the secular person, there is no greater authority than you and I. But to the believer, God is interwoven with the human experience and His sovereignty cannot be separated from His creation, even in the midst of a pandemic.
In Ephesians 2:10, the apostle Paul wrote, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.” God prepared what He wanted from us even before we came to trust in Him.
With that in mind, I’d contend that God softened our hearts to do what’s necessary to fight the coronavirus. I believe, in His foreknowledge, God preordained the Dream Center in Los Angeles to serve 14,000 meals a day to those in need and Samaritan’s Purse in Durham, North Carolina, to establish a 68-bed field hospital in New York’s Central Park to relieve the strain on hospitals caring for coronavirus patients.
Certainly our efforts have made a difference, but that doesn’t take God out of the equation. In fact, without God, I’m certain the outcomes would be different — and much more dire.
There is so much we won’t understand, but as author and Pastor Greg Laurie has said time and again, there is plenty we do know and it’s those things on which we should focus.
“Until that day when it’s all sorted out and it all makes sense, we must trust in the Lord,” Laurie said. “Never trade what you do know for what you don’t know.”
“Here’s what I don’t know: I don’t know why this virus is here. I don’t know why we haven’t been able to find a vaccine for it yet. I don’t know why a lot of things,” he continued. “But I do know this: I know God loves me. I know God’s in control of my life. And I know He causes all things to work together for good to those that love Him and I know He’s gonna finish what He started in my life.”
We do know that God is working in the midst of this pandemic.
For what Cuomo got half right, Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas got entirely right. God is working to heal His creation through the works of His creation.
“God’s hand is working through the scientists across this great nation by coming out with fast, innovative drugs that would lead to therapeutic remedies,” Abbott explained.
Cuomo has proven Allie right: getting it half right is worse than getting it wrong.
I pray God continues to help and heal our land, even if we aren’t willing to give Him credit for it.