COVID19 has affected America, and the world in such a way none of us could have ever imagined. It has affected all of humanity. This is my son’s Senior year of High School. He is a Brilliant young man. Throughout his entire academic career, he has worked hard, to be the Honor student he is today.
But, like other Class of 2020 parents we are deeply saddened that our children may not have the opportunity to celebrate Graduation, Prom and other senior activities. Don’t get me wrong, I fully support the decision to cancel or postpone for the sake of Public Health & Safety. So, this is not a complaint.
Rather, I’m just pointing out how the recent events have stalled many plans and perceived growth opportunities. For instance, I can remember a relative saying to me that he felt he had picked a bad time to start getting his life together. Honestly, I could relate.
As the days progressed, so did the death tolls and infection rates. A sense of worry and panic came over me. I spent my days visiting stores, and preparing to be shut in. And, as we began to adjust to our current circumstance what worried me most was the uncertainty of the days to come. My faith was being tested. Indeed, it has been tested.
From Love, Comes Rebuke!
I knew I needed to pray. I knew enough to know that I was being attacked by the spirit of fear and hopelessness. Therefore, as I prepared for bed. I began to pray. The Lord led me to the book of Amos. As I read, I felt both a sense of terror and calmness. Terror not based in fear, but of awe. An awe of the Almighty God, Creator of the Universe.
God is a good Father. And like any good parent, he will not just sit silently while his children continue down a road towards their own destruction. No, as any good parent would, he intervenes. He will fight for their deliverance. Even if that includes letting them suffer for a little while the consequences of their own actions. For whom he loves, he rebukes. (See Revelations 3:19).
The book of Amos details the reason God had allowed disaster to come upon the people of Israel, and their neighbors. Because of their inability to do right, he was going to send fire against their cities, and their strongholds. In other words, he was going to permit the destruction of everything they trusted in so dearly. Below is a snapshot of the reason’s God sent punishment on the land:
- People shut up their compassion
- People were betraying the sacredness of Brotherhood
- People were mistreating their neighbors
- People had rejected the Law of the Lord
- People had Trampled the Heads of the Poor
- People engaged in Sexual Sins
- People had hindered/despised the Prophets of the LORD
As I read, I could see many similarities between the civilizations of antiquity and contemporary society. Actually, all of the wrath producing behaviors are in operation in the world today. Consequently, our markets, pleasure and vanity have been severely disrupted.
Yet, the Lord never left his people stranded without a way to be blessed. No, instead he gave them the key to heal themselves and the land. The same message he spoke over 2,000 years ago is the same message he is speaking to us today,
“Seek Me and Live.”
His word to the believers, is to come out of Spiritual laziness. He never called us to be light within the four walls of the church, he has called us to be Light to the World! So, Shine! Seek God and Live.
All the sinners among my people who say: Disaster will never
overtake or confront us, will die by the sword. (Amos 9:10 Holman CSB)
His word to the world, is to Humble yourself and receive the gift of his son, because he loves you. He hates your pride. So, Repent! Seek God and Live.
I loathe Jacob’s pride and hate his citadels, so I will hand over the city and everything in it. (Amos 6:8 Holman CSB)
Edify, Exhort, Console
While COVID19 is of a serious nature, it is temporary. Just as it came, it will also go. Sadly, many lives will be forever transformed, after the loss of loved ones. And to those, I am praying for your comfort. May the God of Peace keep you and bless you. May you receive a double portion blessing in the name of Our Lord and Risen Savior Jesus Christ. You are not forsaken, nor defeated.
After this season, many will emerge as Victorious. Many will be confirmed and established in the Faith. For you, I pray that from now until Jesus returns you continue to draw near to God, and that your hearts and conscience remain true. I pray that you promote love and good works while holding on to Jesus, the savior we profess. We are not of those who draw back and are destroyed, but we are of those who have faith and obtain life. (Hebrews 10).
I admit, I was upset with God at first, and I boldly confessed it to him. He already knew what was in my heart. I cried out to him, and he didn’t shun me away. He didn’t turn his face from me. Instead, he heard my cry for help, and saved me. Rather, than kick me out of his graces, he held me tighter.
For all the good the Lord has done for me, how can I repay him? I will drink the cup of his salvation. Now, I know more than ever before, there is no need for me to be afraid. God is for me. He is for you too.