There was a day when disaster ruled the silver screen. As a kid I wanted to see all of the newest disaster films: sharks, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, planetary collisions, burning buildings, sinking ships, airplane crashes, bugs, snakes, tidal waves, rabid puppies–you name it. And I was not the only one… people lined the blocks to see the latest greatest catastrophe du jour.
The common denominator to each of these scenarios was that the movie ended when a remnant of victims was rescued. These types of films do not usually cover the brutal clean-up of shattered lives and reconstruction back to health–no one wants to endure the mopping up of any given tragedy; as the credits roll we are left to be content with the fact that somebody, anybody survived.
Yes, there is something ghoulish about wanting to see the carnage and destruction of life. Certainly, with great regularity chaos imposes its will upon the Earth; it visits us in real life daily.
I would venture to say that every single person on the face of the Earth has found themselves living in the real-life drama called COVID-19. Whether imagined, hyped, over-engineered, or genuine, it has met us on the battlefield of life, and the challenge to extract ourselves from the debris of the last couple of years will be difficult.
A friend of mine recently asked, “Do you think this present condition of turmoil will ever pass by?” To which I simply told her, “No.” In fact I believe this present bedlam will be around for the duration; and I also believe that as much as COVID-19 will be a benchmark of 2020, and even of the nation, it is forever, now, part of life as we know it. Translated: things will not be the way they were ever again.
Our rhythms of life have been interrupted; calamity has altered our lovely patterns of normalcy. Lives have been shattered, our economy debt-laden, fear has gripped this nation and the world, and, of course, there is the tragic loss of human life. But life does move on, and again, we are changed. Our responses to COVID-19 will indeed influence our responses to future challenges.
In time, and in typical post-disaster fashion we will emerge slowly from our quarters and begin to pick up the pieces; search and rescue, recovery, clean-up, and rebuilding in an effort to restore any semblance of order. Funny, but sometimes we are not all that interested in the effort required to wrest ourselves from the twisted metal and toxic waste of the enemy’s schemes. But, this is where the real work kicks in.
For those in ministry the clean-up effort will take years, if not decades to regain balance in the church. Souls need to be nourished now, as much as ever. Yet, people have adapted to new ways of “doing church.” Some have become accustomed to not doing church at all. Some will need to be coaxed back to corporate gatherings. Some will not return because masks were worn; others will not return because masks were not worn. Churches will struggle to find equilibrium in restructuring budgets. And the Body, which in ways has been limping along will begin its new cadence advancing toward the finish line.
We get deceived into thinking, however, that once this thing is over, things will get back to normal. Satan is having a field day with this, and it could be that God allows us to get the upper hand someday, but rest assured that in time, another virus will come along, or catastrophe, or global terror that will set the world on its ear. Since the Garden confusion of God’s good order is the product of sin. It is the residue of a fallen world in which we live; Satan’s follies are the thorns and thistles in the flawed fabric of life.
Though these interruptions throw our world into a tizzy, God is never caught off-guard. Whether fomented through human agency or by Satan himself, every one of those schemes are under the sovereign hand of God. In Isaiah 46:10, He speaks of His authority over all of Creation, time, and events.
“My purpose will be established,
And I will accomplish all My good pleasure”
In the midst of turmoil and evil, God works… He even works through it, for His good pleasure. He will not be thwarted.
“While it looks like things are out of control, behind the scenes there is a God who hasn’t surrendered His authority” – Tozer
This present trial is one of Satan’s greatest schemes, and yet, it seems he has forgotten that God permits, and uses such things, by His sovereign right to affect His purposes. In a time of sifting, shifting, and drifting, Christ is at work… yes, building His Church. Building His Kingdom. Refining His Bride. And glorifying Himself.
We take rest in that!
A Special Note:
Hello, I want to thank you for your interest and support of TheShepherdsPen. In light of today’s political climate, and unstable social media, may I ask you to consider subscribing (click here to go to the subscribing page) to TheShepherdsPen.Com to ensure we don’t lose touch? In doing so, normally, you could expect two emails a week from me, one on Saturday, and an “Echo” on Wednesday. I know you have all kinds of things flooding your email boxes, and your time is valuable, so I do thank you for walking a portion of the journey together.