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Friday, May 1, 2020

WHAT IF

So much has rolled around in my head since this pandemic exploded into our world, and yet I have been unable to put all these thoughts on paper.  I have vivid memories of the polio outbreak during my childhood.  My mother's cardinal rule was you needed to rest after lunch everyday to ward off the possibility of contamination by the polio virus.  I am not certain if that was fact or the motivation to get her three offspring to give her a couple of hours of peace.  Rest time was from after lunch until three everyday.  For some unknown reason, those were the hours when we would be infected according to folk medicine.  It was a deadly virus as perhaps most famously remembered by President Roosevelt's leg paralysis.  The iron lungs, precursors of today's intubation, were necessary to help those afflicted get enough oxygen to sustain life.  Medical science has come a long way since that epidemic and our understanding of virus epidemics, thankfully, is many times better.

Rather than exploring why this has happened, where did it come from (deeper than a country or region), and what are the consequences of this epidemic, perhaps we should look at it on a more personal level.  It has occurred to me that perhaps God is giving me a period of sabbath.  A time to rest while locked down and prohibited from social interaction.  I am only able to do very limited ministry work--but there is endless time to pray.  The schedule which controlled me and my days has been thrown out the door.  What if God is allowing me to consider how He wants to use my time.  What if God is reminding me He really does not need me to accomplish His purpose.  What if there is a purpose in all of this which is deeper-more profound-a greater purpose than all this illness and death.

God did not cause this epidemic, but He has allowed it.  In the worst of times, we often see the best in people.  I have learned the most about Who God is in the very hardest of times.  During these days of great sorrow, deep suffering, and unknown futures, God is present.  He is still God.  He is not surprised by all of this.  He can and will use all things for His glory and good purpose.  

As these final two weeks of lock down pass by, consider not those questions of worldly importance, but instead seek What God is showing you.  God wants you to rest with Him. Every day, place your head on the heart of Jesus and quietly be with the Lord.

He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
Psalm 23:2-3