For the past eight years, during both democratic and republican presidencies, we’ve seen an increase in shootings, addictions, enmity between races and political parties, sexual immorality, gang crime, depravity in film and TV, denying life to babies, and contempt of God and Christians. I’ve also witnessed an increase in Christians praying for our country based on 2 Chronicles 7:14.
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
I believe God is answering those prayers. I’m not saying that He sent this plague, but He is using it to rattle every region of the world. Our merciful God can use the pandemic to remind us of our mortality and of His sovereignty. This era is a “correction.” Like the markets, we have overvalued ourselves above our Creator. We’ve been living a lie to think that we are our own gods. There is only one, and when we understand that and His incomparable love for us, then we can rest in Him and trust what He is doing. He is very much involved in this situation.
As a Christian, I try to seek God first, but my heart tends toward self-coronation. I am re-discovering this in Lent. (How appropriate that this pandemic is sweeping through in the season of Lent!) I sense God calling me through the pandemic to confess the sins of our country and also my sins of focusing on myself and neglecting the Gospel, which is the power of God to change people. Change must begin in me and those who believe in Jesus.
This moment in history, when our lives are threatened, is (hopefully) a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hold out our hands with the gift of the Gospel. Even with social distancing, we can interact with people in drive-throughs and those who walk the neighborhood. We’ve got a host of people in our contacts we can call and check on. Our churches are broadcasting the Gospel across online venues. One of my friends is sewing masks for cancer patients. Another friend is communicating help for parents plopped into homeschooling. People continue to generate creative ideas for reaching people. Share yours. Though the birds are building nests and kids are playing, this is a sober time. Let’s not waste it.
LORD, we need Your intervention to stop our descent. In Your mercy, please use COVID-19 to grab our attention, so that we may see what is important and what is not. Open our eyes to recognize and confess Your sovereignty and our arrogance and idolatry. Please enable us to turn to You, who alone is God and holds our lives in Your hand. Fill us with Yourself, for only then will we be full. Through the sacrifice and matchless name of Jesus we pray. Amen.