We are all on the same boat…
No. We are not – all in the same boat. I know, it sounds harsh and nonconforming. But that’s OK, because we are definitely in the same storm, facing the same crashing waves, and these days aren’t we (Christians) looking for something…how does the song go?
Songwriters: Steven Curtis Chapman / Mark Hall
“Oh what I would do to have
The kind of faith it takes
To climb out of this boat I’m in
Onto the crashing waves
To step out of my comfort zone
Into the realm of the unknown where Jesus is
And He’s holding out His hand”
My thought is this… if Christians are struggling to read the times, then we have a serious problem in America, and it’s not COVID-19. This is not the first time this country has experienced a crisis, and I can tell you, that it won’t be the last time.
So, last night, I was having a difficult time falling asleep, tossing and turning. And I was praying, talking to God, “Gosh! We have to stay cooped up until April 30.” I’m thanking God for His mercy and His grace and for His mercies that are new every day—also praying for wisdom and understanding. Well, the last few days, I had been reading articles and comments on how we are all in the same boat, together, be strong, you are not alone. We are together, but apart. I’m like, “No-we are not all in the same boat. And as Americans, we know better.
Yes, the entire population of planet earth is dealing with COVID-19. We are all dealing with the isolation, with trying to comply with the various orders to keep us apart, to keep us from becoming infected, to keep from infecting others, and help our children with their online instruction, work from home, make sure everyone has food and water, and essential needs. We are finding ways to thrive in spite of the circumstances. But there are people out there that are struggling, financially, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually.
Realistically, we are not all in the same boat. Some of us are riding out this storm on a luxurious ocean liner; others are on their private yacht, millions more are on recreational sort of boat, or personal watercraft, and a million other folks are on lifeboats. And we have a bunch of folks that are clinging onto the side of those lifeboats. So, I asked myself, “Is the faith of the man hanging off this dinghy greater than the man on the luxury liner?” God has given all His children a measure of faith (Romans 12:3).
I am sure most people know the facts. Some of us are uninsured; some of us have lost our jobs; many elderly folks are living alone; some of us are facing a serious illness; some of us are struggling single parents; some of us have great faith, others little faith, and don’t forget those that are yet unsaved, that may not believe in the notion of a supreme being, and on and on.
Remember the unsinkable ship? Remember the men from the Andrea Gail? “The sea was their domain. They knew it well,” said Rev. Richard Casey, of Gloucester. Some of us are more confident than others, that once all this is over, we will recover.
In this time of isolation, none of us can deny that some people are faring better than others. A 500 sqft apartment versus a 1500 sqft home, versus a 5000 sqft or more dwelling place – that’s a big difference! And going outdoors for some fresh air is a bit more compromising for people living in a congested area like NYC, than someone living in a beautiful spread in central Texas, or any piece of land for that matter.
And people with a compromised immune system, well – most have to stay inside. One of my daughter’s friends hasn’t gone out in public since this whole ordeal began. She has M.S. and has been dealing with breast cancer, and last I heard she had been diagnosed with some brain-eating disease. Her doctors told her not to set one foot in public. My husband and I, both over 60, have to be extra careful because I am pre-diabetic, and he had lung problems last year and has no desire to repeat that agony, so we are as cautious as we can be.
Long lines at the food bank distribution sites, wait lists for assistance with utility bills, reports of child abuse and spousal abuse, these images tell me that we are not all in the same boat. The homeless are still roaming the streets. And crime has yet to shelter in. When we couldn’t find eggs, or bread I suggested to my husband that we try the food bank. He said no. We should leave that food for those that really need it. And while some may extend grace to one, the one may not extend it to another (Matthew 18:21-35).
Just because churches are asked to close their doors to prevent the spread of this virus, does not mean that we are under religious persecution. It does not mean that God has forsaken His people. It’s simply that humans may be infected and unknowingly infect others – that’s the real problem. We are always our own worst enemy. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?
So, amid this crisis, we do our part in whatever station we find ourselves in, for we are to be content in all circumstances. After that, the hope of man lies in the hands of the living God.
Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Remember when the Lord make David’s son very ill, and he prayed for his son (2 Samuel 12:15-23)?
“And the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and it became ill. David therefore pleaded with God for the child, and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. So the elders of his house arose and went to him, to raise him up from the ground. But he would not, nor did he eat food with them. Then on the seventh day it came to pass that the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead.
Whispering, they said, “Indeed, while the child was alive, we spoke to him, and he would not heed our voice. How can we tell him that the child is dead? He may do some harm!”
Therefore David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?”
And they said, “He is dead.”
So David arose from the ground, washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house; and when he requested, they set food before him, and he ate.
Then his servants said to him, “What is this that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive, but when the child died, you arose and ate food.”
And he said, “While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who can tell whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”
Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!
I don’t know who is hearing from God, but I know He is speaking. Is anyone listening? Can those He is calling hear His voice? This is a time of reflection. Remember Job? God, let him go on and on. I can hear God.. “Blah, blah, blah… oh Job! Then when His turn came to speak. Well, go read the Book of Job. And take your faith and let God nurture it. We may not all be in the same boat, but we serve the same God and He never changes. He is waiting.
Y’all be blessed.