#Beyond COVID-19

It’s easy to get lost in the crisis of this pandemic.

When we’re blindsided by something so horrific, initially, we lose our bearings. It’s as if we’ve been tossed into a cosmic tornado and for a time, we brace against the spin, trying to stop the pressing motion or we clamber up the sides trying futilely to escape – grasping only at wind.

Where are you, God? Have you suddenly lost sight of me trapped inside this twister? Is my voice lost in the storm? Are my prayers blown away by the force of this trial or lost in a sea of other voices crying out? Make it stop, make it stop, make it stop.

But, we are incredibly well-designed to withstand the worst this fallen world serves up on its buffet of sin and death. And so, before long, we yield to the force of the storm and we begin to sort truth from fear. No longer able to orient by circumstance, we remember our true north and begin to navigate by Jesus, the bright Morning Star. (Revelation 22:16)

Every generation of believers faces its own pandemics – war, famine, locusts, fire, ice, genocide, disease. And our loving Father visits these disasters on His own people as well as on those who deny Him. We are not all spared.

Yes, there are miracles. Yes, He stands with us. But, yes, some of us will fall. Because there is always a greater story, there is always a truth that extends beyond the virus, beyond the plague, beyond the oncoming wave of death and we are called to live that truth – sometimes as we die.

Our greatest challenge as individuals is not that our lives don’t matter – it’s that they do. It isn’t that we’re insignificant, it’s that our significance is hidden from us. In this current pandemic, that lie is exposed, is it not? You and I, as small as we are, as ineffective as we sometimes feel, we – individually – have incredible impact and influence on the world.

The choices we make – unimaginably simple choices – whether or not to wash our hands, cough into our elbows, drive to the store, gather with friends – the choices we make contribute to the spin of the tornado or to slowing it’s spin and diminishing its force.

Simple choices we make right now, in the privacy of our isolation, known only to another loved one or maybe to no other human, will also have global impact. Will we orient by the daily briefing or by the eternal Word of God that does not change? Will we tune into the 24/7 livestream of impending doom or attune our hearts to the One who still hears us, even above the voices of a million reporters screaming across the airwaves of a million channels. Will we seek our own comfort and escape by binging on false idols – food, worry, alcohol, substances, entertainments, and the like or will we be present with Jesus even now?

When the ancient tribe of Israel faced an overwhelming enemy set to destroy them, God found Gideon hiding in a winepress, beating precious wheat out of sight of the Midianite warriors. Even in our best hiding place, God sees us and knows us as we truly are.

“And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, ‘The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.’ And Gideon said to him, ‘Please, my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.’ And the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?” Judges 6:12-14 ESV

And in Christ, are we not mighty men and women of valor? And do we not echo Gideon’s questions to the Lord? And is His answer to us any different than it was to Gideon – has He not sent us to the people of this age? Will our choices now not have an impact beyond COVID-19, beyond the age of coronavirus, into eternity?

One day soon, this pandemic will end. Like every tsunami, it will at some point recede and leave us to rebuild what has been lost. You and I, however, are eternal. We will outlast this storm. We will extend beyond the wind because we carry within us the mighty wind of His Holy Spirit with a force of life greater than any death that visits the people of our time.

We can be His warriors in this storm. We will weep with those who mourn. We will cover in prayer those on the front lines. We will speak truth against every lie. We will answer fear with persistent love.

We will represent Him as we outlive this scourge or as we die from it. But even if we die, we will die with His name on our lips, testifying with our last breaths so that as we step through the door of eternity, others will be freed in Christ to follow.

Even as we are separated from one another, we are not alone. Let us rediscover that truth in this time and celebrate our recovered memory. Let us press in to the One who will never leave us alone, even in death. Let us lift up the name of Jesus with courage and with joy.

If we quiet ourselves, we will hear Him singing over us because He is greater than the wind of this pandemic, He is greater than our fears, He is with us in the spin and on His Word, we rise.

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9 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Jan Clough says:

    He is indeed the rock on which we stand and oh so faithful to all who look to Him Amen!

    Thank you Lori may The Lord protect you and your precious family.

  2. Deb Kreyssig says:

    Yes Lori. This pandemic is reshaping our lives hopefully to include more of God and to fully rely on Him. Tune out the noise and open our Bibles. Listen to the voice of God and let Him minister to our hearts. He is still in control and always will be. He has not forgotten us but loves us as His dear little children. Thank you ABBA Father.

  3. Bill Eyermann says:

    Thanks for the encouragement. The very last paragraph reminded me of Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.””
    ‭‭Zephaniah‬ ‭3:17‬ ‭NIV‬‬

  4. Jim Klock says:

    Thank you so very much, Lori. This was like water for my dry, cracked soul. Amen and amen.

  5. Amanda Snyder says:

    GOD has indeed Blessed you, Lori, to use HIS Words to investigate our hearts and inspire us to
    continue our daily life journey with FATHER, SON, HOLY SPIRIT. Thank You. Amanda “WE love because HE first loved us.” I John 4:19

  6. Sandra Allen Lovelace says:

    Thank you for sounding the warrior trumpet.

  7. Barb welch says:

    Praise the Lord! What a powerful Word of encouragement. I know my Lord is able to carry me through and be His instrument in bringing others with me to Him.
    Barb Welch

  8. Kim Albrightson says:

    Did you know:when there is a storm, cows/cattle will run FROM THE STORM and ultimately get trapped by a fence or something and spend a great amount of time IN the storm. Buffalo, on the other hand, run TOWARD the storm and they actually spend a very minimal amount of time IN the storm because they are just crossing the storm’s path!

    The whole time I was reading this blog, that you have so beautifully written, Lori, I was reminded that we have a choice as to whether or not we want to run away and hide from what is happening, or if we want to run TOWARD it and intersect with it in the best possible way that God has intended us to be – courageous – creating something beautiful and previously unimaginable out of this storm!!

  9. Nico van der Merwe says:

    WoW! Thank you for this tremendous encouragement!