Updated: May 7, 2020
Written by Pastor Eric Risner
Change has the ability to shake our worldviews and what we believe, or to remind us of how true they are. As I have spent the past week processing the Covid-19 pandemic—including where and how it intersects with my faith—I have been reminded of some biblical truths. I dislike saying that there are lessons to be learned from all this, but there are. At the very least, specific truths and realities have become more apparent.
We are taught, as Christians, to view everything through the lens of the gospel and God’s Word.
This situation is no different. So, as the following days and weeks unfold, let’s remember to allow them to be used for God’s glory and for the strengthening of our faith. Here is what I have been reminded of recently:
We are fragile. In times of plenty and peace, it is easy to assume that the lives we have built are safe, secure, and impervious to great difficulty. But the Bible reminds us, in James 4:14, that our lives are “a mist.” We are more fragile than we think (or will admit). This virus has brought to light just how unstable we are. Something that the naked eye cannot see has shaken the world. Some believers may be wrestling with their fragility. As Christians, we can think, “I’m not supposed to feel fragile or nervous. I should be full of faith and hope.” While this is somewhat true (I think), do not be ashamed for feeling fragile during this time. It is a great reminder that we are human. And humans are fragile. Don’t let fear win, but it is okay to be experiencing a wide range of emotions. And remember, one day Jesus will take away our fragility forever!
Control. We like to believe that we are in control. Some personality types have built their lives around having a strong sense of control. But, in all honestly, there are a greater number of things we cannot control than things we can. Again, the coronavirus has forced us to face something that is rather unpleasant—a loss of control.
I have been reminded of how frustrated I get when things are out of my control and it seems as if others are making my decisions for me. I have been forced to deal with my lack of patience and have had to admit there is little I can do in the face of this (apart from complying with what is being recommended to me by officials). And quite frankly, it has been tough. Humanity finds within themselves a strong desire to be in control and have control. But we are now in a season of submitting and relinquishing.
Additionally, I find myself imagining what it would be like to be one of those governmental leaders who are making the controlling decisions. I don’t envy them and can’t imagine being under such stress. And that reminds me of the Lord. He is in complete control and handles it perfectly. How powerful, loving, and amazing He must be! If you find yourself struggling with the recent loss of control you may be experiencing, pray that you are comforted by the One who is perfectly and lovingly in control. You may be not in control of a lot right now, but you can safely rest in the hands of the One who is.
Our great need. We should always be aware of our great need for God and for His people. But often, we’re not. The virus has made us intimately aware of our need for the Lord and for His people. Being away from corporate worship has been difficult. For some, they may be starting to realize just how much we need each other. For others, they are being reminded of this fact. We are having to depend daily on the Lord to still our hearts and calm our minds. We are a needy people.
But the Shepherd of our souls is not stingy!
He will give the peace, joy, and hope we are so desperately seeking in this season of life. Do not hesitate to bare your soul before your Creator and ask Him to supply your great need (whatever it may be)!
What is important. If I have noticed anything positive, on a global scale, from the existence of this pandemic, it seems to be the fact that we are all realizing what is truly important—people! Steps are being taken to protect people. Why? Because life is sacred. Now, everyone might not realize life is sacred because humans are made in the image of God, but I find myself being reminded how important each human life is. I know God feels this way about each person, and I have found my heart feeling more like His recently. It has been an unexpected and gracious revelation in my life. I am praying it continues long after this pandemic is over.
Uncertainty. We often assume we know what tomorrow will bring. We look at our calendars, settle into our routines, and make plans. And, for the most part, we can accurately speculate what most days will hold. But what we are currently experiencing reminds us that we honestly don’t know what the future will bring. During this season of life, we don’t know what order, restriction, or guideline will be given to us each day. We don’t know when life will return to normal, or when we will have answers. It has served to remind me that I genuinely don’t know what tomorrow will present to me. And it’s not just because of a pandemic; I don’t truly know even when my life consists of what I consider normal.
But there is One who does.
Facing the future with a high degree of uncertainty can rattle us; leave us feeling fearful. But we don’t have to be. I am reminded that my Savior promises to walk with me through whatever my future holds. He even promises to carry me if I can’t find the strength to walk.
What is powerful. Prayer and the Word of God. These are more than cute activities that Christians do. In the face of uncertainty and confusion, we can clearly see (and experience) just how powerful these graces are. The Bible is more than words strung together—it’s life, peace, joy, and hope. Prayer is more than an exercise in calming our spirits—it’s asking God Himself to intervene and move on our behalf. Don’t forfeit the power that is available to you through these practices. Yes, spend some time watching Netflix (you must pass the time somehow right). But please don’t neglect prayer and God’s Word during this time. We need to be filled with God’s power and hope daily.
Don't Take a Break
Be encouraged. Although we find ourselves taking a break from our normal routines, the Lord does not want to take a break from speaking to you and transforming your heart. Let Him remind you, speak to you, and point you towards the work that He desires to take place in you and your family’s heart!
What biblical truths and realities have you been reminded of recently?