Texas Gov. Greg Abbott invoked his faith in God as an integral part of the route Texans and the nation can take as they move forward toward recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Abbott appeared via video during Sunday’s service of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, led by Pastor Jack Graham.
The Republican governor noted that when he talks about faith as an element of recovery, he knows how it works — sharing his story of how faith helped him after an accident left him paralyzed at age 26.
“As you might imagine, when you face something like that, it tests your faith,” Abbott said. “Why would God allow something like this to happen?
“But, very importantly, I found in the aftermath of that, as I continued to reach out to God, I found God reaching right back out to me, and my relationship with God and Jesus Christ grew even closer after the accident. And it empowered me to go on and become governor of the great state of Texas.
“My point is this: We’re all tested. We’re all challenged. Everybody right now, but in your own unique way, every single person watching this today — you have your own tests and your own challenges, and there is a solution.
“There is something that will support you that you can lean on that will always be there for you. That’s Jesus Christ. God almighty. You lean on Jesus and God and you will be taken care of. You’ll be able to weather this storm.”
Abbott noted that life is never without trials.
“You know, God never promised us a life free of storms,” he said. “What God promised was a pathway through those storms. That’s what I’ve seen in my own life. That’s what I’m seeing in Texas.”
The governor praised Graham and his congregation for continuing to safely worship and pray for the nation to recover.
“What you all have done as a congregation and what you have prayed for is beginning to be answered. The growth of the coronavirus in Texas is slowing by people staying at home, by people reducing interaction with others,” Abbott said.
“God’s hand is working through the scientists across this great nation by coming up with fast, innovative drugs that would lead to therapeutic remedies,” he said.
As his segment ended, Abbott shared one final message.
“Put your faith in God,” the governor said. “God will bring you through this, and Texas will once again rise up to be the No. 1 economy in the United States of America.”
Abbott’s embrace of faith struck a far different tone from Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who last week marginalized God when discussing the apparent plateauing of the increase in cases.
“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,” he said April 13.
In an Op-Ed in National Review about Cuomo’s comments, Kathryn Jean Lopez mused that perhaps Cuomo “can’t see because he’s stuck behind cameras.”
“When Andrew Cuomo declares that God has played no role in our successes and protection and healing, he is missing why we need those churches open,” she wrote. “While somehow movie theaters and churches are getting lumped into the same category of phasing in public life again, we need the sacraments because we need grace, we need supernatural help.
“We’ve shown ourselves to be good citizens, but some of us feel like we are dying inside. Of course, that feeling may be a good sign. The real bad death is in triumphant declarations that God has no hand in our lives at our most vulnerable. We need him. He is near. And a lot of us give thanks to Him these Easter days, whether we can go to Mass or not.
“We would not be here without Him, and we never want to be without Him. And bodily death isn’t the worst that could happen.”
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