While comparisons can be made to other events in my lifetime, COVID-19 is unlike any other I have experienced. Seemingly, it has touched every country and every people. It has brought to a screeching halt the normal daily schedules for most individuals. It has imposed upon us expectations and challenges that grate against our understanding of freedom. Our jobs are affected. The economy is affected. Political pundits have reacted to and taken advantage of the crisis. Fear is rampant.
Life at BJA has been affected too. Face coverings and physical distancing daily remind us of this ongoing crisis. Some events have been conducted online. Other events have had to be cancelled. Additional cleaning protocols have been implemented. We have many new students and families because of our response to COVID. And we have had more than the usual number of families who have withdrawn—at least for the time being—because their family is choosing other responses to the current situation. We understand. It’s okay.
So, how should we as believers view and respond to all that is happening around us? Do we react similarly to the screaming voices around us? What about our anger? Our fear? The anxiety? Ah, the Book! The good Book! God’s Holy Word! God has given answers to every problem we face in His written, living Word. Others in the past have responded to significant challenges and trials with resolve and grace. Now, it is our turn.
If I [God] shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people;
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways;
then, will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place (2 Chronicles 7:13-15).
It’s our turn to trust God. We know He is sovereign. We know that He works all things together for our good. We know that He oversees events and seasons to work His purposes and plan. God is calling us back to Himself. We need to trust Him by humbling ourselves—releasing the grip on our plans and expectations—praying, seeking His face, and repenting of our sins—perhaps, the sins of self-focus and self-indulgence. His Word reminds us that our lives are not our own. We are bought with a price. We are to be living sacrifices for the Lord.
It’s our turn to be thankful. “In everything give thanks,” the Bible says. Even in such tumultuous times as these? Of course. When God is at work, we need to be keenly alert to how He is using us for His glory. While we are tempted to focus on the angry waves around us, we must lift our eyes to the glorious face of our loving Lord. He will see us through, and He will enable us to bring peace and hope to those around us.
It’s our turn to be a testimony to others. Christ is the answer. He alone brings peace and hope. The light of the trust and thankfulness we have shines brightly for others to see. “He must increase, but I must decrease.” Complaining, backbiting, arguing douses the flame so that others see us rather than Christ. Of course, there are problems . . . and proper ways to deal with problems. We ought always to strive to shine forth Christ in our words and actions so that others are drawn to Him, not pushed away.
Let’s covenant together to trust God, be thankful, and, in so doing, be a testimony of God’s grace to others. It’s our turn.
“Be still and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the heathen;
I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46:10).