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Viral Thoughts

I really feel like God has been teaching me to abide in Him this year. One of the songs that we have sung in our choir this year is a setting of Psalm 23, and several parts of that Psalm have stuck out to me recently. I love that fact that God, who is our shepherd, makes us lie down in green pastures. I don’t want to debate the theological intricacies as to whether God is allowing the virus or caused the virus, but I do know that He is in control and could stop it at any time. I don’t want to presume to know what He is doing in allowing this in our lives and in the lives of people all around the world. But, I do know that He is making a lot of us lie down. Things that we normally would do, we can’t. We are having to be inside more. We are having to hang with our families more. For a while at least, we no longer have commutes. We no longer have church services in the normal sense. It seems that God is changing the rhythm of our lives for a least a short while. Perhaps this is a re-calibration period for some of us. Perhaps God is making us lay down for some rest or spiritual renewal. If so, embrace the rest. Don’t spend too much time thinking about what you are missing, worrying about the virus or economy, but instead embrace the change of routine. Maybe your Shepherd is making you lie down.

I also think that God is teaching me that life is fragile. The stats from other countries show that this virus is serious, and I think it is giving many people pause to think about the brevity of life. My parents told me yesterday of a pastor in OK who was younger than I am who got the virus on Tuesday and died on Wednesday. In the middle of all of the virus concern, we had a family in our church lose their 23 year old daughter in a car accident. Sitting in the funeral recently, hearing about this young lady who had an infectious smile and who was so full of life was a sobering reminder that life is short. James 4:14 reminds us “Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” Psalm 90:12 tells us “‚ÄúTeach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.” Reading John Gill’s Commentary on the Bible, he states

“Not merely to count them, how many they are, in an arithmetical way; there is no need of divine teachings for that… nor is this to be understood of calculating or reckoning of time to come – no man can count the number of days he has to live. the number of his days, months, and years, is with the Lord but is hid from him…But rather the meaning of the petition is, that God would teach us to number our days, as if the present one was the last. For we cannot boast of tomorrow, we know not but this day, or night, our souls may be required of us. But the sense is, that God would teach us seriously to meditate on, and consider of, the shortness of our days. That they are but as a shadow…and to observe how unprofitably we have spent them, which may put us upon redeeming time, and also to take notice of the goodness of God, that has followed us all our days, which may lead us to repentance, and engage us in the fear of God.”

So, lie down. Abide in Christ. Trust. Rest. Number your days.

3 comments to Viral Thoughts

  • Macy McClain

    Trust. This is such a hard concept for me to grasp. For a lot of people, this is a hard pill to swallow. About 16 million or so people have lost their jobs, and are filing for unemployment. Some people are struggling to make ends meet, while paying off debt. Besides all of this, there are elderly people who are worried about how they will get groceries. It’s just hard for everyone. I’m personally worried about my internship. I have it lined up, but am worried about whether or not it will work out. My parents, for example, especially my father, keep asking me what I’m going to do. It’s too hard to tell at this point. Worrying about the unknown things won’t cause them to go away. In times of worry, I try and meditate on Matthew 6:25-34. Worrying won’t add a single hour to your life. I’m an impatient and stubborn person, so that doesn’t help much at all. As you said, God is in control, and I have to trust this fact. Thanks for this great reminder and convicting post!

  • Mackensie Prosser

    Thanks for this post! I have thought about this a a lot recently but before this virus happened, I remember having a lot of worries about not having enough time for everything that I had to do in the coming weeks due to school, multiple jobs, field experience, taking care of family, etc. the list goes on and on. I remember praying to God to help me manage everything and to not get burnt out for the semester but also more importantly that I wouldn’t lose sight of Him in the shuffle of a busy life. It’s really easy for me to do that sometimes in the midst of a hectic schedule and the farther away that I get from my daily walk with Him, the harder it is to manage everything. I think we’ve all experienced this, but I’m still learning how to prioritize. In no way am I saying that I am thankful for what has happened with the virus, but I do agree that God is using this time to force us to rest, which is something I didn’t realize that I really needed at the time. I also think that God has really been using this time for me to recognize that I have to depend on Him for everything. I tend to worry about a lot of things that I’m not sure of and it’s not healthy for my relationship with Christ because I’m choosing to worry instead of depending on Him and trusting that He will provide like He promised to. I’m thankful for these reminders of God’s goodness even during times that are confusing or difficult. We can’t see his actions always at first, but that doesn’t mean He isn’t working behind the scenes. Like Dr. White says…God is faithful, we can trust Him. I appreciate this post Dr. O, thank you for sharing!

  • Luke Bear

    What a good reminder that God is in control and He is purposefully changing the rhythm of each of our lives. Abiding in Christ is something that I have understood as a christian, but I feel have not experienced or been able to relate in the same degree as others. This quarantine has opened my eyes to how weak my flesh is when I depend on my own strength to find peace and joy in this season. I read Deuteronomy 29:29 recently “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever…” God is sovereign and nothing that we do can remove him from control. I am learning to find peace when the unexpected happens and God tells me to lie down and watch him work.