I don’t want to get COVID-19. Some people I know have caught it by now, and although sometimes it’s mild, sometimes it sounds truly terrible. But I’m also afraid of the possibility – and the responsibility – of passing it to anyone who has a terrible time with it. So I’m questioning everything. Was I this tired yesterday? My throat hurts. Maybe I need to cough. …Is that you, ‘Rona?
I’m not even sure of what I’m sure of anymore. What do I even normally feel like? Does my throat always feel so dry? When all is right in the world (or feels that way, at least), I can brush off a sniffle and think, “Maybe I’m getting sick; I guess I’ll see.” And then I have confidence that my immune system will take care of the problem. But coronavirus brings insecurity. I think, “Maybe this time it won’t be okay.” Because in times of trial everything feels insecure.
In times of trial everything feels insecure.
When trials come, what I thought I was sure of becomes uncertain. The Bible tells the story of someone else who felt this way once.
John the Baptist’s Insecurity
In Luke 7, John the Baptist is in prison, suffering persecution for his faith and for fulfilling his calling as a prophet who prepared the way for Jesus. In the midst of this trial, tinged with fear and doubt, he sent his own disciples to track down Jesus and ask a very important question.
“John’s disciples told him about all these things. Calling two of them, he sent them to the Lord to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’
“When the men came to Jesus, they said, ‘John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”‘
“At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. So he replied to the messengers, ‘Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.'” (Luke 7:18-22)
Isn’t this a little surprising? It’s easy to forget that this is John the Baptist we’re talking about. John the Baptist was the one who recognized unborn Jesus when he himself was still in the womb! (Luke 1:41) He was the one who taught in the wilderness and prepared the people for the coming of the Messiah (Luke 3:1-20). He was the one who baptized Jesus and heard the voice of God from Heaven, approving Jesus, His Son, for his ministry (Matthew 3:13-17). John the Baptist knew the truth. He knew! But when the trial came, he began to wonder.
What questions do you find yourself asking when the going gets tough? I ask, “Do you remember me, God? Do you hear my cries?” I ask, “Are you working, God? Have you left us alone?” I ask, “Do you love me, God? Have you turned your face from me in anger?”
But look at God’s answer to John the Baptist. He lovingly said (and I paraphrase), “Remember what I have done. Look at what I’m doing. And then trust me.”
“Remember What I’ve Done”
What has Jesus done for you? If you haven’t yet put your faith in him:
- He has put eternity in your heart and given you a craving for truth (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
- He has loved you and desires you to come to him in faith (2 Peter 3:9)
If you have put your faith in him:
- He has cured your spiritual blindness and opened your eyes to receive his salvation. (2 Cor. 4:3-4)
- He has brought you up from death and given you new life in Him. (Eph. 2:6)
- He has taken your heart of stone and made it a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26)
- He has put his Holy Spirit in you as a guarantee of eternity with him (2 Corinthians 1:22)
“Look at What I’m Doing”
And what is God doing in your midst? Do you see him at work in your home, in your neighborhood, in your city, and in your world? If you are having trouble seeing his work around you, ask him to open your eyes to see his hand on your world.
Here are some things I’ve noticed:
- He is curing many from diseases, even Coronavirus!
- He is softening hearts to hear his word.
- He is slowing us down to call us to prayer.
- He is teaching the church how to reach the world through technology
- He is inspiring our city to work together with generosity and kindness
- He is at work all around us!
“And then trust me”
We have seen that our God is a loving and powerful God who has reached into death to pull us out and give us life. And who has continued to be at work in our world for our good and for his glory. So now it’s up to you. Are you ready to trust him?
“When I am afraid, I will trust in you.” (Psalm 56:3)