For most of us, the last few months have been drastically different, and for some, even difficult. The COVID-19 virus quickly turned our world upside-down. Our normal routines were changed, and our immediate future was put on hold. As I am writing this, we are two months in, working through shelter-in-place orders—no gatherings over ten people, travel bans, and churches trying to figure out how to navigate these uncharted waters. Only in the last few days is our country slowly beginning to reopen.
As I think about what we have experienced, I must believe that God has had a hand in all of this. Please do not misunderstand me. I am not saying that God has brought judgment on our world. I do not think anyone can know whether or not that is true. What I am saying is that nothing touches our world and our lives without God allowing it to happen.
We can see God’s sovereignty throughout the Bible, and it is in the Bible that every believer can find help and encouragement. I sure do! As I look through the pages of Scripture, I find many places where God interrupted the world and the lives of His people to carry out His plan. Sometimes His interruptions were a form of divine judgment, but other times His interruptions were simply bringing about His greater plan. In the Old Testament, we can consider His work in the lives of Noah, Joseph, Moses, and David, as well as in Israel, during the times of the judges, and in Judah, during captivity. In the New Testament, we can consider Paul held in prison and John exiled on the Isle of Patmos.
It is clear to me, that God always uses interruptions in the lives of people to accomplish something. I do not know what God has done in your life during this time, but I know He has worked in mine. Allow me to share a few truths that I have learned.
Life can change dramatically in a short amount of time.
No one but God could have known at the beginning of 2020 that our world and lives would be altered by this thing called the coronavirus. Life was as usual for most of us until March when everything was turned on end. Suddenly, this mysterious virus brought our lives to a screeching halt. There was not an area of our lives that was not touched by this mystery virus. Our normal routines quickly became not so routine. The plans we once made with little forethought now required careful consideration. Our expectations for the future were no longer expected. However, because of the Covid-19 scare, the way I look at my plans has changed.
I am reminded of these statements made in the Bible:
Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. (Proverbs 27:1)
Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. (James 4:13-14)
The events of the last two months remind us all that it is God who governs our futures.
God does not consult with us before He moves.
As stated above God is in control. He does not have to stop and consult with us before He allows a global pandemic to permeate our world. For some reason, we begin to think that our lives are our own and we should get to make the decisions about the things that touch us. That is not the case. God has His reasons for what He does, and I do not think anyone has a corner on Him, knowing exactly what He is doing through this whole situation.
I know many people have had important events of their lives disrupted by Covid-19. The entire class of 2020 have seen their final year of high school, college, or graduate school completely interrupted. Weddings, funerals, vacations, and other planned events have been cancelled.
Yet we must always remember that God is in control, and He can do and does what He sees is right.
These disruptions cause us to realign our priorities.
Another lesson the Lord has taught me during this time is to consider what is truly important. We think dining, traveling, and going wherever and whenever we please are important. But when life as we know it is suspended or even stopped, we are compelled to realize what we once thought was so important really isn’t.
Sometimes as we become busy living life, we do not always prioritize our lives properly. Sometimes business or pleasure take priority, and we push away what should be important. Yet in the last two months, sports, business, busyness, and most pleasures have ceased, and we have been made to realize what makes our lives so special. God, faith, family, and friends are the true priorities of life. I have a renewed appreciation for each of these. As life begins to return to normal, I do not want to forget about the truly important things that should be emphasized and prioritized in my life.
God can and does take care of His people.
There has been a lot of fear and anxiety in many people’s lives. After all, this virus has been proven to be deadly and the economic impact has been significant in our world. Many people continued to work, yet much of our economy was affected by businesses being forced to close and people being ordered to shelter in place.
In my own life, my travel and ability to hold meetings has completely come to a halt. Much of my livelihood is dependent on being able to travel and conduct meetings. Churches’ offerings can also be affected by not being able to conduct in-person services. Yet as we have passed through this time, I have marveled at how God has been so faithful to take care of me, my family, and my church. As I have talked to pastors from across the country, they have shared how their churches have also been taken care of.
We should not be surprised that God keeps His promises. God is faithful.
These are just a few of the things that God has taught me through this time. What are some of the things that God has taught you? Please feel free to leave a comment and share with others what God has done in your life through this time.