Some of my friends in other countries are just now entering COVID lockdown, some states in America are opening up in patchwork fashion, and everyone seems to be discussing why God has allowed the COVID-19 pandemic that forced us into our homes for an extended period of time. The most common positive answers I hear about what God may be up to include:
God is healing the earth.
The air is fresher without the pollution of our gas emissions. Streams are cleaner. More wildlife is being seen during more hours of the day as less people intrude their space.
God is renewing family relationships.
Parents are playing more board games with their children. Families are taking more walks.
God is teaching us to slow down.
Some are proposing that because we are being forced to slow down, we are re-evaluating the work-life balance. Some wonder if we will ever return to the same level of fervor at which we were living life when the virus hit.
But there are downsides too.
Consequences of the pandemic are not all positive. For some people, being isolated at home places them in abusive relationships or toxic environments. For many children and adults, school and job locations provide safer environments than home.
As well, some reports say that working from home may have spared us from time-consuming commutes, but has also increased our work hours as family and job responsibilities blur together.
Some of my friends have lost loved ones to COVID, and some of my friends with underlying conditions are suffering anxiety as they try to protect themselves.
Some of my friends are not working, adding extreme financial pressure to the list of something that is already hard.
What a crisis.
What a mixture of pros and cons for every single person in every country of the world. What varied devastation we have suffered, with ripple effects that will live long after this spring of 2020. I would be arrogant to think I know what an all-powerful God is up to in the life of every human being that is being affected. On are larger scale, however, the Bible reminds us that God is still doing what He has always been doing with every day of history.
What in the world God is doing.
God is still very much interested in things beyond our lives here on earth.
What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? (Mark 8:36. see also Matthew 16:26)
As has always been true, God is leveraging all that occurs on this globe for the sake of His larger story. For example, if He is healing the earth, it is to slow down the decay of the earth in order to buy time for more people to come to know Him. And He is most certainly using the increased enjoyment of creation to reveal who He is.
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. (Romans 1:20)
For those who are suffering, He is still dismantling the constructs in which we have been trusting so we will hopefully turn to Him and gain a relationship with Him that lasts forever. He has a careful eye on each person staring the brokenness of our world straight in the face — the uncertainty of finances, jobs, health and inadequacies in relationships — so we reach for Him.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18
For the people who know Him already…
As has always been the purpose of our family, the pandemic is providing unique opportunities to disciple our children — to pour more of God’s story into their souls — and to strengthen our relationships for His purposes both on earth and in eternity.
God is still using our circumstances to make us more like Himself and continuing to develop us into being a light in the world.
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. (Matthew 5:16)
What is certain: God is leveraging this unique shelter-in-place season for His eternal story.
Picture Explanation: Mother’s day was filled with flowers, cards, balloons, backyard food and fishing in one state, gifts sent from a second state, and a trip to a third state to visit another daughter. In the spirit of this blog, my parenting doesn’t just count for here. It is my aim to point my family to Jesus in word and action. He has entrusted these beautiful people to my care and I aim to leverage my enjoyment of them on earth for His eternal glory. .
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