A Pastor’s Perspective 01-04-2022
I’ve used a chronological Bible for daily devotions this year and as 2021 comes to an end, I’m in Revelation. I’ll freely admit it’s not my favorite book. The seals, creatures, beasts, plagues, earthquakes and falling stars make for tough reading.
Speaking of plagues, I’d heard about plagues in other parts of the world, but I never expected to be directly affected by one. But Covid certainly qualifies as a plague, and of Biblical proportions, as they say.
It’s ironic that all through scripture, God used plagues, famines and other adverse circumstances to move His people from place to place to accomplish His redemption plan. A famine sent the Children of Israel to Egypt, and God used plagues to bring them out. And He used jealousy and false imprisonment to place Joseph in Egypt and ultimately in Pharoh’s court ahead of time to save both Egypt and Israel from the famine. Persecution moved Christians out of Jerusalem to spread the message of the gospel over the Roman world. Several of Paul’s letters and epistles were written from prison. You get the idea.
In fact, said another way, you’d be hard-pressed to name an adverse circumstance God didn’t use to bring about a better thing. Sometimes it was a geographical move, but always it brought a change from old thinking to a new understanding of His will for His people. And each time, it was ultimately a better thing.
If Covid has meant a serious illness or the untimely loss of a loved one, it’s hard to see it as anything but horrible and unfair, because it is. But we know that our God works in everything, even the unfair and painful things, for our good. Sometimes we can’t see it until we’re through it and look back on it.
I’m not sure if it’s possible, but I’m trying to shift my thinking from “Isn’t this awful!” and “They shoulda/coulda/oughta..” to: “I wonder what God wants to teach us as we go through this”.
For the past 21 months, we’ve all been forced to adjust and it’s not over yet. My prayer for all of us is that as we move forward in 2022 we think carefully about what we’ve learned and try to understand what God wants us to see as most important. That’s an ongoing discussion among your Ministers. I invite you to make it part of your prayer time and discussions with your family and friends. And let’s try to seek and discern what God’s best is together. —Geron Gambill