To everything there is a purpose,
A time for every purpose under heaven.
Ecc 3:1, NKJV
I remember studying viral outbreaks and their impact on society. I was 17 and my biology teacher said, “You don’t have to memorize the details, it’s not like you’ll ever see a pandemic in this part of the world.”
Who could possibly have foreseen such life-altering events? Not even the most prophetic among us spoke of plagues and self-isolation. Many prophesied changes in the year of 2020. Shakening. Exposure. Empty calendars. The turning of hearts. They were right, of course, but no-one expected it to look like this. Even more people prophesied a double portion, clear vision, and the fulfillment of promises. Maybe they will be right, too? Time will tell.
The Covid-19 pandemic has radically changed our way of life. Some struggle with Corona-related health issues. Others wonder if the next paycheck will ever come. Wine is regularly turned into disinfectant, as in a twisted, pandemic version of the water to wine incident.
This contagious disease has impacted how we relate to one another. We spend more time at home, alone or with family members. If we go out, we maintain a certain distance. Whenever someone hug on TV, my kids yell out, “Pre-Corona!” We all laugh, not so much because it’s funny, but because we need something to laugh at. This is such a season.
Although it’s sad not to be able to hug someone, we find other ways to show affection. Because we still love. Choosing love over fear does not mean that we disrespect social distancing and hug anyway; it just means that we get creative and love even more fiercely from a distance.
We still do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God. But what does it look like in this season?
I firmly believe that every season holds keys that we need for seasons to come. We are being prepared for what’s ahead. Educated for the future. Equipped for tasks and destinations.
Contrary to the opinion of some, I don’t believe that God sends us pests and plagues to test us. It’s just not who he is.
God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.
John 3:17, MSG
He is our Creator, our Savior, our Redeemer.
God never set out to destroy us, but to love us back to the Garden.
I don’t want to miss out on anything that our God has for me, even in this confusing and devastating season. I’m determined to learn whatever I can so that I won’t have to go through another season like this one.
What can we learn right now?
When major events occur, one out of two things tend to happen.
Either, we search for someone to blame. Whenever there’s a lack of trust, there’s always plenty of blame to go around. “I’m in pain. Someone has to be held accountable!” 9 out of 10 times this is our first option simply because it’s feels good. For a second, pain is numbed by anger, making us feel strong and in charge. We shift blame, get angry, and feel competent. Wrongly so, because it’s a short-lived, hollow, volatile power. But for a brief moment, we feel strong and forget about the pain.
Or we can choose the second option. We come together. We choose each other.
If we can’t come together in church, we meet online.
If we can’t hug, we find other ways to show affection.
We speak kindly. Serve graciously. Give freely.
During the months when our church was closed down, we started a new house church, this time online. We met once a week, each person with coffee and treats in their own home, while sharing life from across the screens. Some of us had never met before, but within a few weeks we became a close-knit family. It was like there was a special grace in this time to love each other from a distance. We laughed and cried. We chose transparency and vulnerability. And we grew stronger.
What is your lesson to learn in this season?
Is it to love fiercely from afar?
To choose kindness over blame-shifting?
To look for new options whenever your preferred ways are no longer available?
Is it to trust God in your time of need?
Will you seek justice for someone who has been treated unfairly?
Speaking kindly to someone who has done nothing to deserve it?
Is it letting go of a dream in order to receive an upgraded version from Heaven?
What does this season hold for you? I’m looking forward to hearing from you!