Illustration #5 of how our current Covid-19 Pandemic speaks to our even more real spiritual need:
What will you return to?
Written now a month later than the last illustration, this illustration
centers around the anticipation of lifting restrictions that have been
in place for over a month. What are we most looking forward to? What
are we anticipating in order to feel like things are “normal” again?
Similar to someone returning from a foreign land and craving some sort
of “taste of home”, we realize what we
truly missed . . . and didn’t miss.
With God, though, we’re never put
in that position of being without what we truly need, for He never leaves us or forsakes us. When we know He's always there, though, we risk taking the Creator of the universe and the Lover of our
souls for granted. Maybe you'd say, "He’s always with us in quarantine or in large
gatherings, so why do I need to attend a worship service or even be a
part of a church?"
Back to the illustration: How many of these
“creature comforts” would you say we need? Anything that truly is
necessary, including a relationship with God, will not be the things we
naturally crave, so we need to figure out a way to keep them before us. Keep God’s
Word before you, keep God’s people within reach, keep God Himself as
your peace and comfort and refuge. #Psalm50
No matter how long you've been away you can always return to God
Illustration #6 - At what point is it "safe" to return to "life"?
The huge debate around MN is that we need to open things back up, at least to some degree. I just saw a picture of friends that were celebrating Mother's Day IN a restaurant!! What!? How dare they do that during this time! At the same time, how envious I was of them doing this.😁 Now, it was in North Dakota, who has different restrictions than we do here in MN, so I shouldn't be too surprised. Yet, what will MN do this coming week as the latest stay-at-home directive expires on Monday, May 18? How will its citizen's respond? Now, even Congress is considering legislation that would protect businesses from liability if they return to business and Covid-19 spreads through their actions.
This fact remains: life itself is a risk. Every time we enter on on-ramp to a freeway or put money into an investment or even shake someone's hand, we are trusting that the other people on the freeway, handling our money, and touching our hand will do their part to, well, not harm us. Whether it was before Covid-19 or now, none of us knew what each day would bring. When we return to some sort of normalcy or a new normal, who can you trust? Who will you trust? God has given us two things that can bring us peace and joy in the midst of any kind of turbulence: First, the ability to choose - nobody else can choose for you, though you can choose to allow others to influence you. Second, to help with our tendency to allow others to choose for us, God has given us Himself. Through his Word (#Psalm73, #wordsoflife) and through His Son Jesus Christ (see John 3:31-36), we have all we need for this life. By receiving His witness, we receive His Spirit and, as a result, His peace, grace, joy, and life that is truly life.
It is never safe to return to life, but there's always safety in the arms of God.