by Pastor Chuck Rife | 3-minute read
COVID-19 continues to run its course and affect each of our lives. No one is excluded. I know many in our church family, especially our elderly, are sheltered in place and feeling cut off from life, family and friends. Our tendency in such times is to become downcast, negative and to blame God. We don’t like being placed in situations we can’t control.
And yet, unknown difficulties have always come into the lives of people. God has often been blamed and questioned “why.” Martha and Mary’s lives were thrown into a tizzy with the death of their brother, Lazarus. Human nature wants to find someone to blame, and they found Jesus to be the culprit in their brother’s death. Why? Because he didn’t come immediately when they notified him of Lazarus’ illness. We are impatient, demanding and uncompromising people. We want things now! Jesus’ response was interesting: Lazarus’ death happened so that God might be glorified. That didn’t sound like a good answer to Martha and Mary. It didn’t even sound very compassionate.
Jesus challenged their faith and its expression. He said in John 11:14–15, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe.” In other words, Jesus says God allows bad things to happen in order that we might believe. Really!
What is your faith in the midst of this pandemic? Is it one of reliance on God? What makes my faith truly faith is trusting God actively when I’m out of sorts, can’t figure out the problem and have no idea why I’m experiencing something. It’s placing my trust fully in God’s goodness that he knows what he’s doing and will work things out in his timing and for his glory. It’s relinquishing my desire for control in submission to his providential care. That’s the tough action of faith to live out!
And really, it’s OK to ask God “why” when I’m totally befuddled. He may or may not give me an answer. Jesus asked his Heavenly Father “why?” when experiencing the most excruciating pain known to mankind and feeling deserted, and he didn’t receive an answer. That didn’t change the resolve he made in the garden when he said, “Not my will but yours be done.” As a disciple of Jesus Christ, my walk with him is to relinquish my life and my will (control) into his keeping and control. He promises never to leave me nor forsake me (Joshua 1:5).
So, what is heavy on your heart and troubling you these days? Is it COVID-19, being confined, experiencing a trial, being alone, feeling forsaken, wondering what the future holds for you? Relinquish your problems into his hands and he will give you the strength and grace to carry you through for his glory. Let your faith take hold of God, actively trusting him to meet you in your need. He promises never to fail you.