Joseph sold into Slavery
I would not say that God released the coronavirus around the planet, but I would say that He had a plan for good, within its release & effects on humanity. Similar to Joseph’s brothers’ intentions for evil, when they sold him into slavery out of their jealousy & resentment of him. Joseph, when victorious, spoke these words to them: “You thought evil against me, but God meant it unto good…” (Genesis 50:20)
It would have to have been within such a time as this – a time of lockdown & quarantine – when I would have been severed from most all of my normal activities – that I could finally face a central reality. Nowhere to run to, nowhere to hide. And the alleged ‘refuge’ of being home & ‘sheltering in place’…well, to quote the Eagles’ song, ‘Lyin’ Eyes’ “Every form of refuge has its price.” Escape from coronavirus became at times imprisonment. Faltering hope turned into fear & despair. Demons, waiting at the door, found entrance. Depression crushed.
As a Christian, I know there is, for me, only one truly effective Way to fight these things.
…but I’ve been believing (I thought) in this Way for over four decades, so why was I being so oppressed? It would seem like I should have been in better shape than I was. It should’ve been easier for me to fend off the demons & nightmares.
God causes the light to shine out of…what?…darkness. Though we think we are in the abyss, perhaps instead we have been positioned for glorious breakthrough.
I have experienced anew the impact of 1 Corinthians 10:13, the Scripture promising us that God will not give us more than we can bear, but with the hardship will provide a way of escape.
There came a point for me, about a month ago, where I had to jump off a spiritual cliff. The price of remaining hunkered down (and I don’t mean the coronavirus quarantine!) in an ever-increasing darkness & hopelessness was too high. I needed that way of escape. And it was shown to me.
I learned that I had to make a conscious, deliberate choice, with a more-or-less ‘no going back’ clause attached to it. This may sound simple to you – basic – and it is but I wasn’t doing it. I don’t know what I was doing! but it wasn’t this: I realized that the kingdom of God has to come first. Whereas before the kingdom perhaps didn’t seem ‘real’, I couldn’t relate to it in certain moments & circumstances – and I think that’s to be expected, we live in a world system and also a tangible reality that affects our senses – now I had chosen to begin to superimpose what God says over what I’m feeling. More than that, I had to toss aside that ‘feeling’, that dread, that fear. It had to be an absolute choice. And it sometimes had to be done, if necessary, minute-by-minute.
That may seem like an inconvenience or worse. Getting really serious about it involves choosing an alternate reality for yourself, in any given moment, and even though you ‘trust God’, that can be scary at first. Hard to do.
It’s worth it.
We can experience some horrible sensations, and maybe can’t even put names to them. But I’ve heard that only two basic emotions exist, love & fear. I myself accept that every other feeling is a version – by degrees – of these two emotions. And we KNOW when we aren’t feeling love, so…combat the isolation, dread, despair, whatever emotion that grips you, with a related Scripture. THINK on it. If you can, take the time you need to see it through.
You have to choose.
This isn’t a one-time action. And we fall. But because of the Lord, who holds our hand, we don’t remain cast down. (Psalm 37:24)
I have struggled with fear all my life, and still do. I am 69 years old, and have believed in Jesus Christ for over 40 years. Practicing what I have tried to explain to you just now is starting to bring a relief such as I have not experienced before…I need to do it every day, many times, but this is spiritual reality. It is the kingdom of God being sought first, and He adds the rest (Matthew 6:33) – in my case, literal rest!
It may be thought that seeking the kingdom of God first translates to actions. While I wouldn’t say that’s not true, I think that the kingdom – that over which this King has dominion – begins with how He thinks & what He tells us in His Word. My starting point in this is what He tells us about fear, anxiety, isolation and such, in relation to His character & promises TO US. Moreover, His character period!
For instance, if you really believe that God is faithful...think about it…always faithful…that right there causes me to exhale & feel safe. You don’t need to be a Bible scholar, a student of Hebrew or an accredited theologian. You do need to know – or learn – some of the Bible, and it’s a good idea to be reading it in order to primarily get to know God in Christ. Use a concordance. Focus on maybe just a few verses or even only one phrase, for a time. Take small bites.
Keep it up.
When I was first apprehended by Christ some 44 years ago, there was always someone declaring that Jesus was coming back soon. From Day One of my salvation moment, this statement was constantly being made. But I never sensed His imminent return. I wondered why…besides, I had hoped to have a better life, in so many ways! before Christ’s return. Well, right or wrong, that was how I felt.
For the first time, NOW I have finally sensed that the whole planet is being prepared for His return.
I think that’s what this coronavirus is about.