A call to action for  Oceana County leaders and citizens

April 27, 2020

A call to action for  Oceana County leaders and citizens

Letter to the editor by Brian Beckman, director, The Ladder Community Center, Shelby.

Letters to the editor are the opinion of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Media Group 31, LLC, owner of Mason County Press. 

Dear Editor,

Dr. Jim Denison writes in The Daily Article for April 22, 2020:

You do not have, because you do not ask

“New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo captured the spirit of our age when he said of declining coronavirus cases in his state, ‘The number is down because we brought the number down. God did not do that. Faith did not do that. Destiny did not do that. A lot of pain and suffering did that’ (his emphasis). 

“In his worldview, we have a binary choice: either we do something, or God does it. The governor doesn’t seem to understand that God employs people to do his work, that he can lead scientists and empower doctors in our fallen world. Or that praying for his help is essential to experiencing the fullness of his omnipotent grace: ‘You do not have, because you do not ask’ (James 4:2). 

“We obviously need scientists and leaders to do their work. We need to shelter in place until we can return to ‘normal.’ 

“But as we search for ways to defeat this disease, how many of our leaders are turning to God for help? When we make progress in battling the virus, how many of our people are turning publicly to God in gratitude?”

May the leaders of Oceana County not make the same mistake as Gov. Cuomo. I implore the leaders and citizens of Oceana County to pray fervently to keep this disease at bay in our county. I understand we have one death and three other people who have had it (or currently have it). I pray for the family of the person who died of this terrible disease; it grieves my heart. One loss is one too many. Yes, we need to follow our leaders’ requests to do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19, but we also need to pray:

“God who commands all the angel armies, send your angels out on our behalf at our county lines to war against the coronavirus so that it doesn’t come near me, my family and friends, or my community.” (prayer from Shawn Bolz, bolzministries.com)

Every day that we wake up healthy, we need to thank God for keeping the virus far from us. If we should come down with the virus, we need to pray that God would use the illness to bring people to Him. We have choices. I have been turning to God for help, as a leader in Oceana. I have been fervently praying to stop the spread. My fervency doesn’t compare to the many prayer warriors that I know, but I have been praying longer than I ever have. I have been thanking God for my health, my family’s health, the health of our county, and that of our courageous health care workers. But I haven’t gone public to thank our awesome God and our health care workers. From now on, I am going to thank God publicly for who He is and how He is working in this situation right now in Oceana. “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God I trust, I will not be afraid.” (Psalm 56:3-4) 

Please join me, Brian Beckman, in praying against the disease daily—and sometimes hourly—and to give thanks publicly to our great God. He will honor our prayers and thanksgiving. If you are like me and need help in praying, I use prayer guides that others have created because coming up with prayers is not easy for me. So please go to The Ladder’s website at www.theladdercommunitycenter.com to find prayer guides and pray faithfully. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long.” (Ephesians 6:18)


Brian Beckman, Director

The Ladder Community Center

67 N. State St.

Shelby, MI


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