Can you imagine how you would have reacted if 6 months to a year ago someone had told you that people would be staying at home to try to keep away from some kind of virus? Can you imagine what you would have said if they had talked about people wearing masks when they went to the grocery store or Walmart? What would you have thought if they had told you that it would become the norm for churches instead of meeting together and greeting each other with handshakes, hugs and getting as close to each other as possible if instead, people would be worshiping at home, watching classes and worship by means of Livestream or on Facebook Live? I suspect I would have thought the person making such predictions was some kind of nut and they were trying to promote panic in the world. I might have said, “”I’ve been around a long time and have preached for churches in a lot of situations, but I can’t even imagine the kinds of things you are talking about.”
One thing that stands out is that LIFE CHANGES. It also should stand out that just because we are in the United States and other people are having such problems that the thought it can never happen here, is sadly mistaken. We are not immune to the problems, challenges, and sicknesses that face the world as a whole. I hope and pray that what we are going through will serve some powerful spiritual purposes such as bringing people to realize we all have more things in common than we have that are unique. Living in one country or even a better neighborhood won’t isolate me from the diseases and problems going on in life. I hope that as people see the problems and frailties of life that we do learn to appreciate one another and what people are willing to do to benefit others. It should amaze us all to think of the amount of sacrifice so many are ready to go through to be able to help someone whom they don’t know but they know their need is real. It should amaze us how many huge companies are willing to change their whole operations in order to produce products that are needed for those who are sick and need things like gloves, masks or ventilators.
But the greatest hope I have in the middle of this whole thing is that it will lead to massive amounts of people turning their lives over to God. Wouldn’t it be tremendous if people not only began to seek God, knowing that he promised that if we search for him with all our hearts we will be found of him? Jesus said, “Seek and you will find, ask and you will receive and knock and the door will be opened to you.” If we simply believed that Jesus was telling us the truth and that the God of the universe longs to be found by us, it could change the world in a wonderful way. Perhaps, if we all really began to seek God and follow His will it would cause us to stop seeing many of the things that we are so ready to condemn in the lives of others. Remember this message from Isaiah the prophet: “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them and to our God, for he will freely pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isiah 55:6-11).
God’s word is living, powerful and sharper than a two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit and joint and marrow. “It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:12-13).
I don’t know what will be the next thing that happens in this whole world-wide crisis. But I know that nothing is beyond the power of sight of God. I also know that the more we push God to the side, no matter what the problems may be in life, the greater the problems become. Listen to the news this evening or anytime for that matter, and notice how often the answers sought to the problems in the world are from humanity. We will figure out the medicine, the right shots to take to become immune to the problems. See how many times you hear anyone mention God and HIs power or his ability to help if we turn to him. I certainly am ready for any medications that help us because I know that whatever healing there is comes somehow from God and the wisdom he offers us. But, until the day comes when we realize the need for God and stop thinking all the answers are some how in our hands, things won’t improve.
God longs for us to turn to him, to call upon him and to follow his lead. He can overcome any challenge the evil one throws our way. The question is, will I turn to God or try to make myself into some kind of little god that can solve all my own problems.