Bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, sitting room, repeat. The present times of COVID-19 are significantly uncertain. No church, no physical fellowship, no free movement, and a growing list of restrictions. Even the memes, which are ever so often a humorous means of grace, have taken a back seat this time. I saw a joke on Twitter the other day that intimated: “Kenny Rogers knew exactly when to walk away.” Ha! Well, in many ways, I am reminded to thank God for such times as these. They make me yearn and hope for eternity.
God is good
In this season that feels bereft of joy and excitement, we need to remember that God is kind and good. Even if it feels like all the truths we have learned and held close to are being extensively tested.
Our inadequacy as humans is vividly on display. Does not the Bible repeatedly caution us against being presumptuous about our future when it says:
‘Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business, and make a profit.” You do not even know what will happen tomorrow! What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.’
Only the fool remains presumptuous of tomorrow in the face of such warnings from the Scriptures.
God is sovereign
Ladies and gentlemen, life is a mist; here one minute and gone the next. There is a great comfort to be found in the fact that God holds the universe together. God also wields it on his palm and is behind all that happens in the world including the start, spread, and effects of COVID-19. A famous atheist, later converted to Christ, famously remarked during the very extreme and raging ends of his atheism, he was more comfortable with the idea that there was a ‘higher being’ controlling the world events, good or bad than he was with the idea that everything is just a happenstance.
Lay down your preferences
Another crystal clear lesson that we are learning is that we can no longer put our lives and preferences first. Our selfish tendency towards self-gratification will not work in these uncertain times. The COVID-19 virus, at a human level, can only be mitigated by doing what is best for others. This includes embracing a spirit of self-sacrifice and curbing all our movements. Our self-sacrifice will have several images portraying the heart of the Gospel: that a man, Jesus Christ, laid down his life for the good of others.
“Our selfish tendency towards self-gratification will not work in these uncertain times.”
I hope and pray that this season will end soon; that new cultures that encourage hospitality and self-sacrifice, will spawn off of this pandemic. It is also my hope that one of the world’s favorite mantra, ‘you do you’, will here find its death in the hearts of many who are accustomed to only caring about themselves.
Michael Kruger aptly states,
“A self-centered culture may at first appear to be life-giving when in actuality it is life-taking, whilst in contrast, the dying-to-self culture may at first appear to be life-taking, when in reality it is life-giving.”
We know—not wish or hope, but know—the latter to be true because Jesus said it in Mark 9:35:
“If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”
In conclusion, we should remember that our hope is not in man. Our hope is in the Lord, who made the heavens and the earth and to whom all that is in the earth belongs. Knowing that God can stop the COVID-19 virus now, that he is able to restrain it from spreading, that He knows where it started and the trajectory it will take before it’s mitigated, that He is allowing everything to happen here and now, should encourage us. We should not fear, for our God is for us and not against us.
After all, if we live, we live to the Lord. And if we die, we die in the Lord.
Praised Be He.