Here I am preparing to study and research for our latest podcast topic and I can’t get my brain to function. It’s not that my brain has stopped working just at this moment, but that I can’t seem to think of anything other than my immediate concerns: my family, their health, my health, our friends and family’s needs (financial and medical). Nothing seems to be able to penetrate my mind apart from COVID19, preparing for COVID19, hiding from COVID19, working around COVID19. Not only that, but I’m stuck in a place of bitterness. Bitterness regarding others’ lack of care and response to this threat.
My house sits right on a fairly busy road and I see a continuous stream of vehicles before me. I think to myself, “I should be gracious in my assumptions regarding who these people are. Maybe they are getting necessities, maybe they are traveling to and from work, maybe they are delivering goods to those who are more vulnerable than them.” But I know the human heart. I know the vileness, the self-centeredness, the pride, and disregard for others. I know it because I deal, personally, with it and I see it in my response to others during this pandemic. I want to control others and how they respond to this serious situation. I want to fill the internet with so much information that they would wake up and see the consequences of every unnecessary action they take during these days. But I can’t. And I never was meant to.
The importance of human autonomy, the preservation of being held accountable to no one but ourselves, is too entwined within our sinful fallen nature. Not that making decisions is bad, or the ability to make decisions is bad, but that we are fallen humans – sinful humans – and we will make bad decisions. We see this all the way back in the beginning, with the very first sin. The one that plunged our world into death and decay. We are given a decision and can’t look beyond ourselves. We are given decisions and are so nearsighted that we are blind. This is man apart from the Gospel. It will always be man without the intervention of God.
But with God, we can look beyond ourselves. We can receive the sight we need. But what do we need this sight to see? We need this sight to see the One that is glorious. We need sight to see the One who DOES have control. We need sight to see beyond the sins of others and to the cross of Christ that bore our own sins.
In this COVID19 pandemic, I have given in to navel gazing, focusing on others’ sins, and being near sighted. But I want to repent from that. Now. I want to repent of being short sighted about this travesty. Not that I will ignore the very real problems that my neighbors and I face, but that I will never stay there. That I wont get trapped in my head, spiraling out of control and retreating into my own mind for safety. I will look at Christ. The One who ordained this virus. The One who knows how others will respond. I will hope in His promise, that he will build his Kingdom until it is complete. That He will soon return and right all wrongs, eliminate all sin (including my own), and will reign forever.
So to stop the navel gazing, the COVID19 news staring, the observing and grumbling of others’ harmful sin, I am going to focus on Christ. Even if it seems ‘simplistic’, or familiar, I’m going to hang on to it – by God’s grace.
Hopefully over the next few weeks I will be able to share those looks to our beautiful and faithful Savior. And I pray that you would as well. Let’s hold each other accountable to this. Join me and share what you have learned of God’s character, the Gospel, and the Word.
Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul! I will praise the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being. Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry.The LORD sets the prisoners free; the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous. The LORD watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin. The LORD will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the LORD!