This is such a unique time, is it not? Can any one of us remember a time like this? Many of us have been impacted in big and small ways. Some of us have had to face huge lines at the store wondering where we can buy toilet paper, others have lost their jobs and still others have had first hand experience with the COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus).
We have seen schools closed and people encouraged to work from home. We have seen the rapidly escalating numbers of cases near and far. We have started to do church online and are encouraged to understand social distancing. So much has changed in such a short period of time.
Like me you have probably seen and heard many things about faith and worry. Some of these things have been so helpful while others seem to simply state the obvious. This is a time when cliches don’t begin to help.
This virus is a macro example of what I have seen on a micro scale many times in my ministry as a pastor. I remember one time praying for God to heal a young child who was dying. I have seen lots of people dying of cancer. Most of the dying people I’ve sat next to in nursing homes and hospitals have been advanced in years. It seemed so wrong to see the tiny form of a child breathing her last breaths. People are praying but God seems silent.
That seeming silence causes us to examine our faith. This is a season when our faith is examined in such a developed way. Here’s what many of us are finding: If our peace rises and falls based on circumstances we are probably struggling with the perception that God is silent.
I have learned myself and seen in others that when tough times come we just want them over with as soon as possible. Isn’t that all our hearts desire that this virus and all that has happened just stop already?
But this virus isn’t going anywhere soon or so it seems. So the pressure mounts day by day as we wrestle with all that’s happening and the sense that God seems silent. Can I simply encourage you with this one thought as we unpack this tension in the coming blogs? What we feel and what is actually reality are often very different things.
I remember a while ago I thought my family was not giving me an appropriate level of understanding. I was so busy and feeling the weight of all that was happening and when a family member took offense at one of my responses I appealed for understanding and for space. My precious family member told me our whole family had, in actual reality, been extending understanding and space for days. What I perceived and what was reality were at odds.
Is that what is happening with you and God at the moment? Does God seem silent? Step back and simply ask God to open your eyes to His reality. Maybe start with reading some of John’s Gospel and ask yourself, “does Jesus show us in any way that God is silent and distant?”.
More to come……