Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. (Psalm 91:3 NIV)

One of the opening scenes of the epic World War II Stephen Spielberg film, Saving Private Ryan, was a re-creation of the D-Day Invasion of Normandy, June 6, 1944. As the actors, portraying American troops, battled German guns for a foothold on Omaha Beach, the cameras went to a close-up. An infantryman, obviously relieved by a near miss, spoke the lines with a sigh: “Phew, that was close!” No sooner than the words were out of his mouth then a bullet appeared to pierce the actor’s helmet at the forehead. His eyes rolled back, then he disappeared from view.

There are real sighs of relief coming from Dallas, Akron, New York City and other places men and women have been quarantined because of their possible exposure. The nurses who contracted Ebola from the Liberian Thomas Duncan have been pronounced disease-free. No new cases have been reported in connection with Mr. Duncan. Phew! That was a close one! (Sigh!)

How foolish it would be to assume the danger is behind us. Ebola could resurface in the U.S. as an act of terrorism or because not enough was done to prevent it from entering our borders. The unrepentant and ungodly should not celebrate just yet.

Prayers were answered to be sure, but the divine gift of more time should not be misconstrued as an exoneration of our national guilt. The fact that the rate of new cases in Liberia is slowing and the American death toll is not spiraling out of control is no more than a testimony to God’s grace and mercy.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9 NIV)

So go ahead a breathe that sigh. Then, before its too late, fall on your knees. Repent and ask Jesus for forgiveness before the big one hits us between the eyes.

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