These are times that try our very souls. Those of us who love planning, organizing, covering all possible scenarios in advance and avoiding pitfalls never saw this coming.
Earthquakes, floods, fires, nuclear explosions … yes, we fretted about them all. Which country would try to do the other in first … yes, we thought about that too.
But a bug that would cripple the whole world, bring death and terror in a whole new way?
Something that would drive us away from our worldly pleasures and send us inside for an unknown period of time?
Something that would even close the doors of our churches? Something that would separate us from our loved ones, not in death, but in life? No, we did not see that coming.
But perhaps what we also did not understand is that we were created for such a time as this. Does God cause disease and suffering? No.
Does He allow it? Yes. Read Job and you will discover satan brought the misery. But you will also see God allowed it.
Suffering comes not to torture, but to test. Suffering comes not so God can see what we are made of. He already knows!
Suffering comes to refine us and let us know what we are made of and Who made us. When all the things that have covered over who we truly are are stripped away, we see who we were made to be.
God had a Plan for us before we were born.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.”
He knew exactly what talents He put inside us.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
He knew exactly when He would send us to earth. He knows exactly how long our assignment will last.
“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in Your Book before one of them came to be.”
Why are we here now? Because God ordained that we be here at this unprecedented time in history. Every experience we have had in life has trained us for what we will do now.
God has called us. He is calling us now to grow up fully into who He created us to be.
But now, thus says The Lord, Who created you, and He Who formed you,
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.”
Many began the season of Lent choosing what they would give up to demonstrate their understanding of sacrifice. Many vowed to do good in The Name of Jesus.
Many even volunteered to walk the road to Calvary, envisioning snacking on the way on chocolate bunnies and having fun hiding Easter eggs. Many looked forward to dressing in Easter finery and singing the Hallelujah chorus on Easter.
But we did not foresee what walking with Jesus would involve. We thought we would be spectators and cut out if things got too close to us.
But this Lenten season is different. We are being called into true sacrifice. We are being called into freedom from fear and doubt. We are being called into a level of compassion beyond that of which we thought we were capable.
Jesus is asking if we really believe He can and will heal.
Jesus is asking whether we will betray Him or deny Him. He is asking if we will turn and run or follow Him wherever God leads.
Jesus is asking us to watch and pray that we not fall into temptation.
Jesus is asking us to forgive others when they think they know what they are doing but they don’t. He is asking us to receive His forgiveness for the same.
Jesus is commanding us to love God and love one another, as He has and is loving us.
Jesus is asking us if we truly believe He is with us always. He is asking if we are ready to follow Him all the way to Eternity.
Yes, if you are here, you are here because God planned it. You were brought here to be who He created you to be for such a time as this.
May we be able to say with Jesus,
“I have brought You glory on earth by finishing the work You gave Me to do.”
I invite you to listen to this powerful song and ask God what He wants you to do now in such a time as this.