Learning some lessons
I am sure that you, like me are sick of the stay at home orders. If you are even a little like me, you long for normalcy, routine and normal relationships that consist of high five’s, hugs and that assuring pat on the back that you give or receive. I have struggled during the last few weeks to patiently listen for God’s still small voice in the midst of this pandemic. I yearn to grasp some spiritual lessons that will grow me into a stronger disciple of Jesus. I don’t want to be the same after this pandemic is over. Are you coming away with some lessons learned? I watched yesterday as a good friend of mine shared his testimony online. He talked about coming to faith in Jesus not long after the 9/11 attack on the world trade centers. That attack shook him to his core, and God used it as a means for my friend to come to faith in the gospel. How is God using this time to grow you? Have you learned some things about yourself during this time? A few take-aways for me so far……………
All of the death and destruction that Covid-19 has caused worldwide has been mind blowing. Currently at least 113,000 deaths have occurred from this virus. Over 100 people have died here in the state of Missouri. This is again a reminder that death is not too far away for any of us. Life is fragile, “a vapor” James calls it. We must be ready to meet our maker in good standing with Him. The only way for us to have confidence on the day that we meet Him is to have Jesus. He became the substitute for us by being punished and killed on the cross that we deserved. The fact in history that the man Jesus was killed on a cross has so much weight behind it that it is nearly undisputed. His first disciples were so convinced of his perfection and resurrection that they were willing to die for their faith in Him. Even the brother of Jesus, James was killed for believing in the Lord! You and I are never far away from dealing with our own mortality and meeting the Lord. You and I need to be ready.
I stay busy. Too busy…… Just a few days ago, I met James. He recently retired from the Navy and seems to be a great guy. He lives just two houses up on the right. I noticed that his grass was long and my son and I asked if we could mow it for him. He was very thankful. His mower was broke. I have been two houses away from this guy for 3 years and I had never met him. I have been too busy. This guy and I had a great conversation. I am looking forward to having his family down after Covid-19. My wife and I also met a couple that we have walked past for 3 years in our neighborhood. I would always see the man on his deck and wave, but never stopped to talk. I mean c’mon, I was exercising! Since Covid-19, Amy and I have had several conversations with Kirk and Shelli. I look forward to getting to know them and sharing the gospel with them. I am not afraid to share the gospel with anyone (I’m not bragging). It just comes naturally for me. However, I have been guilty of not doing a good job with sharing it to those located close to me. We have also had great conversations with our neighbors that moved in right next door to us just a few months ago. They are a young couple with one small baby. Very kind people. I am excited for our family to minister better to them. I really want to love my neighbors better after Covid-19.
My control issues
This may be the biggest lesson for me. Before the pandemic, it would have been easy for me to answer the theological question about “who is in control.” I would have given the children’s sermon answer, “God of course.” However, the last four weeks have given me new perspective on my not being in control of my life. It feels a little bit like prison, and none of us are sure when the sentence ends are we? Covid-19 is very much in control isn’t it? A tiny microscopic virus is dictating how much of the world lives right now, of course under the sovereign hand of the Almighty God. I laughed yesterday when I read the story of a billionaire who chartered a flight with some friends to go party it up in France. They were told to not land, but they did anyway at the France’s Marseille-Provence airport. Once the plane they were on landed, they were greeted by French authorities that told them they could not come in to the country. The Croatian national (also a billionaire) who organized the trip told the police, “I have money, lets talk.” The only talking the man was able to have was with his friends, flying back to where they came from.1 Others have been busted with big fines after being caught having Corona-parties. These stories demonstrate how bad we want to make our own decisions and be in control of our own lives, but ultimately, we are not. There is a verse that you have probably heard quoted a lot in the past out of the Psalms. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Some translations of the words “be still” say, “Cease striving,” “relax,” or even “let go.” Here at my house with my wonderful wife and 5 great kids and relatively full pantry is not a bad place to be. It’s that yearning from my insides to be in control that is tough. I want to go! I want to do! I’m tired of reading books, playing games, putting together puzzles etc, etc, etc…… God, I have ministry that I want to do! I have mission trips to go on! I have people to lead, sermons to preach, meetings to go to and yet He whispers to me “Be still…………….. cease striving…………………… relax……………………… let go…………………… and know that I am God.” Praying that each of you are learning and that the church comes out stronger on the other side of Covid-19.
Scriptures taken from the NASB Bible