The world is in turmoil. This is actually nothing new. But what is new is the latest upheaval caused by Covid-19, the virus that is impacting the entire planet.
Life as we know it has suddenly changed and, for some, has ground to a halt. Whether we like it or not, a “pause” in the normal rhythms of life has been imposed upon us. Our fast-lane existence has just hit a brick wall.
This sudden impact has created many real and painful challenges. And there is likely a long season of recovery still ahead.
But there is also some good that can come from a challenging season like this one.
Stop, Look and Listen
You see, we are created to occasionally stop our normal activity. The Bible calls it Sabbath, a godly gift that is, unfortunately, a lost concept for most of us. But that does not negate its importance or necessity.
Sabbath was intended as a weekly opportunity to halt our daily routine, to rest and focus on God. In so doing, we regain His perspective and renewal.
From the root word for Sabbath comes the word sabbatical. A sabbatical is also a time to stop regular routines. It often allows a season to reflect, take stock and usually re-prioritize.
Both Sabbath and sabbatical provide Christians with an opportunity to ask important questions. What am I doing? Why am I doing it? Are my priorities God’s priorities for me, as seen in His Word? Am I being led or driven? And by whom or what?
Where am I failing and need to repent? Where have I succeeded? How is my marriage? What is happening with my children?
Do my hopes and dreams include things that are (or are not) God’s best and highest for me? Am I spending my life, time and energy in fruitful ways that bring God joy?
Where does my fear reveal a lack of trust in God? How is my anxiety overwhelming His peace? And how can this be fixed?
And, of course, the bottom line is the highest priority of all: Are my eyes still raised to the vast harvest of souls, both near and far, who do not know Christ? Or is my gaze fixed downward, solely upon my limited sphere and circumstances?
God said we should take a Sabbath day every week. Wow. What a smart way to keep my life on track, by making small adjustments once a week – instead of waiting until my life derails and requires massive changes, usually at great cost.
But whether we have practiced the Sabbath principle or not, we now find ourselves in the midst of an enforced sabbatical time, thanks to Covid-19.
I would not suggest that God caused coronavirus. But the Bible, and experience, reveal that God is masterful at using any and every situation to further His great work and purposes in the lives of His children. Especially those who are open to seek Him and who want His will.
(continued on pg. 2)