I’ll be honest, recently my life feels like it’s spinning a bit out of control. This COVID-19 has got everything messed up. Our jobs are operating differently, our kids are doing school differently (and mine are homeschooled), our church is meeting differently (mainly online, and then this thing called a Drive-In Worship Service), and our schedules seem all messed up. I like to think I’m sort of a “go-with-the flow” kind of guy, but I’m starting to think I’m not at all. Maybe I’m more of a control freak than I thought. This much change in this small amount of time has really got me thinking: “Lord, what are you doing to us, and what are you saying to us?”
There are a lot of sacred scriptures that speak to folks whose lives are in upheaval. So much of the scripture that we have wasn’t even written in peaceful times, but if we learn a little bit of the historical context, we would find that 9 times out of 10 the scriptures we have were written in tumultuous times when people were stressed beyond what they thought they could handle. Recently, our church has been going through Philippians. Yea, Paul wrote it while in jail in Rome for preaching and planting churches. I spoke with a lady the other day who was studying Daniel. Yea, the historical context behind that book is Babylonian captivity, slavery, and exile, (not too mention Fiery furnaces, and a lions’ den). David spent 8 years of his life on the run from King Saul; so all those beautiful poems we have - yea - most of them were written while trying to run for his life or hiding out in some field or cave. The scriptures we have were written for people whose lives aren’t going the way they had planned.
Philippians 4:6 says, “Don’t be anxious for anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, make your requests known to God”. Later in verse 9 he says, “The God of peace be with you”. The man writing to us from jail is asking us to let God be our peace, and to make sure we keep praying and giving God our problems. Scripture is for all of us control freaks. Now, more than ever, I need those texts from the Bible. I need to read that “even if I fall, it won’t be headlong, for You, Oh Lord, have not forsaken me” Psalm 37:24. I need to hear Jesus say, “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest”. Matthew 11:28. I need to hear Him also say, “With man it is impossible, but with God all things are possible”. Matthew 19:26. The Bible is for us in such a crazy time as this. I’m praying that as we all go through these difficult times that each of us can find comfort and solace in the words of God. His peace passes all understanding, and His joy can flood souls that are in the middle of a storm. God really does “work all things together for good to those who love Him, and are called according to His purposes” Romans 8:28.
So what is the Lord saying to us? Well, He’s not saying anything different than what He has already said. And what is that? That we are to worship Him, and love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and we’re supposed to love our neighbor as ourselves. And what is He doing in all of this COVID-19? Well, He is still “putting all things underneath the feet of Jesus, so that one day soon - every knee will bow, and every tongue will declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”. The Lord is coming again for His bride, and we must ready ourselves. All of these things don’t happen by accident. This virus, and so many other things are meant to shape us into the people of God that shine as lights in a dark world. They are meant to wake up the church, to convict the lost, and to usher in the coming of the Son of God. You may say, but pastor, we don’t know when these things will happen, and you’re right - we don’t. But we know that the early church was taught to be ready, and to believe that Jesus is coming soon. The Lord is saying what He has always said, and He is doing what He has always done - “He that testifies of these things says, ‘Behold I come quickly,” and our response is “Amen, even so come Lord Jesus”. Revelation 22:20.