Are you ready for this year to end? I know I am. Not to play it down, but it will be good to say goodbye to this very chaotic and troubling year. But I do wonder if 2021 will be any different. Considering the troubling events of this year, and the fact that they continue to plague us, I have to admit I have my doubts that we will see big change, much less quick change. But, I trust that God is working things out according to His will. I do know that the enemy will not relent in pushing fear and intimidation on the children of God. For me, prayer has never been more powerful. Prayer will continue to be my only weapon. I don’t know God’s plans but I know that they are for me and not against me.
As a new president takes office in the new year I do ask myself what God has in store for His people. My concerns are never for the world, but only for the people of God. And so many church goers are convinced they belong to Christ, but they are far from the truth. The world has its lusts, its own worries and its own destiny. I do not need to entangle myself with the affairs of this world. It is an endeavor in futility and does not lead me to the things of God. These so called men of God could care less if their followers hear the true Gospel, why should they care if their followers are protected against anything that may harm them?!
One can never know exactly what God is doing. Nevertheless His works are evident. The Bible tells much of what God has planned for His people and for this world, but specifics can be very speculative. Every Bible scholar has a theory. But I thank God that He reveals truths to all who seek Him. Yes. You can find that truth in Scripture.
This week I turned another year older. Way older! This week, I also got the news that my only grand daughter and her boyfriend were ill, and positive for COVID. One niece, her husband and their children are ill with COVID. The husband of another niece is battling COVID, and thank God she has “so far” not experienced any symptoms. What can I say? I found comfort in reading through the Psalms. Psalm 41 took me to 2 Sam 15. And there I found …“Now when King David came to Bahurim, there was a man from the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei the son of Gera, coming from there. He came out, cursing continuously as he came. And he threw stones at David and at all the servants of King David. And all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left. Also Shimei said thus when he cursed: “Come out! Come out! You bloodthirsty man, you rogue! The Lord has brought upon you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned; and the Lord has delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom your son. So now you are caught in your own evil, because you are a bloodthirsty man!” Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Please, let me go over and take off his head!” But the king said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? So let him curse, because the Lord has said to him, ‘Curse David.’ Who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’ ” And David said to Abishai and all his servants, “See how my son who came from my own body seeks my life. How much more now may this Benjamite? Let him alone, and let him curse; for so the Lord has ordered him. It may be that the Lord will look on my affliction, and that the Lord will repay me with good for his cursing this day.” And as David and his men went along the road, Shimei went along the hillside opposite him and cursed as he went, threw stones at him and kicked up dust.” 2 Samuel 16:5-13
So what can I say? That I know all the plans of God. By no means. I do know that if COVID does not take your life. It is only because of the mercy and grace of a loving God. If COVID does take a life it too is God’s will. And knowing Christ as Lord and Savior, death means going home to see the Father. Glory to God! As believers, we acknowledge that only God is the giver and taker of life? It’s not what anyone wants to hear? Never. Even without COVID, no one wants to hear that it is God’s will to take a life.
I have been thinking of this Christian conundrum in confronting COVID. A few months ago, I recall a friend posting on Facebook that his 70+ pastor and the pastor’s wife, and his own 80 y/o father-in-law had contracted COVID and did not die from it – saying that it was not as deadly as “experts” were claiming. Then I thought well… “What if they had died?” What would he have said then? They lived a long life and God called them home. They succumbed to COVID, but did not suffer long. As a Christian how does one rationalize not taking this illness seriously? Or at least taking precautions to prevent spreading this virus, or any virus. And if this virus is known to cause more harm to certain populations then it makes sense to make sure those populations are protected, to a degree. It’s like bringing home a new baby. No one touches that baby without clean hands. No one even remotely sick can get next to the newborn. Sure, some new parents go overboard, but just how precious is that life to those parents? How precious is life?
I visited that pastor’s church (the one mentioned above) last week, just to drop some stuff off. Low and behold, they were not wearing masks. They had their folding seats situated almost 6ft apart. But you know how folding seats are. They never stay where you set them. So, they were prepping for a Christmas program and no one was wearing a mask. I do ask… are they trusting God, or testing God? Just because the pastor and his wife did not succumbed to COVID does that mean the congregation is immune to the virus? I just wonder.
I have another friend too that has taken up her Bible studies at her home again and no one wears a mask. I don’t know. It just doesn’t seem right to me. These behaviors seem more rebellious than faith like. I am not taking about being paranoid about contracting COVID, or any other disease. I am talking about whether or not these behaviors, ignoring mandates, and risking someone else’s life are Christ like.
Anyway, as 2021 rolls around, I do pray that this country will get back to some kind of “normal”. Whatever that may look like. I don’t care for the mask, but I can handle it ok. I can handle 6 ft distancing. I can handle having to wipe down surfaces. When it comes to people I rarely see, even fellow believers, I can handle no hugging. I do not like elbow bumps though.
I can handle not going to church. Most of them are full of wolves in sheep’s clothing. But, I like reading my Bible, watching my favorite Alister Begg, and talking about the things of God with my husband and close friends. The fellowship I need and most desire is the one with my heavenly Father. And I can’t find that in any church, only in my heart. The freedom to worship, to read my Bible, to pray, to fellowship with my God has not been threatened-not once this year.
I can handle not going to the movies, or eating out. Although, I do miss going to the movies, but honestly, it’s been a few years since anyone has made a movie that yells out “must see.” Eating out, we do it too much as it is, but I have to admit I miss eating out at Denny’s.
Truly, I just don’t want normal to be Americans once again…dealing with overt racism, civil disobedience, riots and looting. I don’t want this constant confrontation about whether or not COVID is a hoax. It’s here! It’s like any communicable diseases. If people would refrain from specific behaviors they would avoid contracting a communicable disease, but they don’t. So, risky behaviors is an age thing and a “devil may care” attitude among our population. Parents are help responsible for allowing their children to be involved in risky behaviors.
My daughter and I were at HEB the other day. We went down the HBA aisle and I noticed a young man with a bandana around his neck. Clearly, it looked like he came in with it around his mouth and nose, or maybe not. I don’t know. But I noticed he kept looking at us as if waiting for us to confront him. I ignored him but out of the corner of my eye I watched him as he looked about. Customer and employee confrontations have been happening at HEB when employees try to enforce the mask. How frequently? I don’t know. Is it intentional? Perhaps. For sure individuals want to create an atmosphere of intimidation, or a messy disturbance.
I heard that HEB would not enforce the mask mandate, because their employees are getting assaulted. I don’t blame them. I blame the people who feel that because they choose to believe in conspiracy theories, or feel some kind of righteous indignation, or have become convinced that they are losing their freedoms.. they have a right to bully fellow human beings. Such individuals have no knowledge of the things of God. They do not know the character of God. They do not know God at all. They serve their own desires and the gods of this world. Is that statement a judgment? No. It’s an observation. Scripture says “you will know them by their fruits (Matthew 7:15-20).”