John 14:27: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
Being in the Twin Cities last week was weird. There was no rush hour. Like Rapid City, there was no toilet paper. Frozen pizzas were gone, as were loaves of commercial bread (you could buy fresh bakery bread, however). Many restaurants and retailers were closed, and the people who had been working were not earning wages. Employees of other businesses worked from home.
And there was, as there is here, a fear of becoming sick from COVID-19. The news – both local and national – was largely about COVID-19 and the impact it is having on life.
Which is an interesting point: What is life? What is your life about?
Is it so wrapped up in shopping, work, school, eating out and sporting events that – when you are restricted from doing those things – you have nothing to do and life seems empty?
Yes, for those of us working at businesses that are impacted by mandated government restrictions, the reality and threat of being out of work is scary. I feel it and know it.
Yes, the threat of becoming sick from the virus and possibly dying from its complications is scary. Those of us who are immuno-compromised or in a high risk group know this.
Is there something larger going on and, if so, what is it?
John 1:1-4 tells us that the Lord made everything and by Him everything was made. The Lord is not surprised by the existence of the coronavirus-19. But we are because we have convinced ourselves that we are invincible, that science can cure everything. Now we have to rely on and turn to a higher power outside of ourselves.
People should be turning to God, but we don’t hear a lot about that – if anything – in the news. It seems people are hoping the government can help.
We now have time on our hands, sheltered at home or out of work. Without sports to watch on TV or places we have to be, that means there is more time for things that are important: prayer and reading Scripture, reflecting on what is really important in life. Is life only about work, school, watching TV or shopping?
Is there still something important to do if our employment disappears or if we get extremely sick? Is it frightening to think about spending too much time with family?
This is a time to reset priorities and set aside a large amount of time with God and a large amount of time sharing the Gospel with others. Deuteronomy 6 implores us: “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” (ESV). Absorb the Scriptures and tell people you come in contact with about the hope you have in Jesus – the peace you have in Jesus – even as you maintain your social distancing.
We still need to scurry to the store for necessary items. We’re still within talking distance at the store, we are still within talking distance at the gas pump or when we take a walk. People are searching for a reason why the world has changed so much in the last four months. You, Believer, have a response: God is in control, trust Him, devote your life to Him, be assured of your relationship with Him through a personal relationship with Jesus.
This is also a time to realize God wants us to have a day of rest for a reason. To regroup. To refocus on what is really important: Him.
There are people today who have come face to face with the fact that they are not in control, science is not in control and government is not in control. They want to know who is in control. And you, if you know the Messiah as your personal Lord and Savior, have the answer. God is in control.
Start a new habit of making God central to every waking moment of your life. The fact is that God is central to everything you do.
Science and government are good. But God’s peace through the saving power of Jesus the Messiah, the peace we have being God’s own possession sealed until the day of redemption by the Holy Spirit is the only source of real peace in this world.
Make God real in your life. Share God and His peace with every person you meet – even at a distance of six feet.