You have heard the expression: up the creek without a paddle. We employ that idiom when we are in big trouble and there appears to be no way out. No one to call for help. No magic wand to wave to make your circumstances go away. No functioning brakes to stop you. No gearshift to slam into reverse, or steering wheel to swerve you away from the horrible situation you are in.
Long Reach of COVID-19
That basically describes the global situation today. The rich are trying to pay $150,000 for jet-tickets to safety – beyond the reach and ravages of COVID-19. Bloomberg reports that “inquiries for international flights on JetSetGo private jets have shot up ninefold, as individuals with vast financial means try to escape virus hot spots.” (1)
The refuge of entertaining sports has been shattered. Stores have been shuttered. Shopping until you drop is not an option to distract you from your troubles; nor is bar hopping or eating out. Options for distractions have been reduced. Travel and vacations to pump you up for a few weeks have ground to a halt.
Science obviously isn’t ahead of the game on this virus, as the most brilliant minds feverishly work to find a magic wand to wave. No storm-stopping panacea to inject into the financial markets has been found – nor silver-bullet to end the personal losses experienced while the pandemic wreaks its havoc and sorrow.
Thankfully governments and society are banding together on all fronts and multiple undertakings and interventions are being made to confront and mitigate the health risks and the fall-out of the destructive invisible virus. As frantic plans are implemented, leaders are hoping – yes, really hoping, that at least some of them will work.
Great and Terrible Leveler
But the reality is – six-footers on Planet Earth have been brought to a halt. We aren’t quite as invincible and powerful as we thought we were. The Financial Times reports that the super-rich are frantically making calls and money offers to have doctors come to their homes rather than risking the exposure of presenting at a hospital like everyone else. Some want to have their own Intensive Care Units built right in their mansions. But dollars can’t buy you everything. As the Financial Times reporter said:
“In some ways, the coronavirus is also proving to be great – and terrible – leveler.” (2)
Life without God
Yes, we are thankful for science and education. We appreciate human advances and break-through technology on multiple fronts. We respect what women and men are contributing to the good of society.
But tragically too many soak-up all the credit. We take our bows and accept the applause. We hang our achievement plaques on our walls and kiss our trophies. But how many are humbled at these celebratory events and turn to their Creator and God? How many acknowledge Him in equipping them with the abilities to achieve such feats? How many fall on their faces in repentance before God and surrender to Him?
Suddenly, during the most serious global crisis this generation has ever faced – some are having God thoughts. COVID-19 has injected into the equation of human-reasoning thoughts about God.
Pain and Sorrow
Most do not connect the dots between the pain in the world, the brokenness in their own lives and the fear in their hearts with sin and rebellion against their Creator and alienation from their God. Blame for the pain and suffering in our broken world cannot be laid at God’s feet.
… sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned. Romans 5:12 ESV
In fact, the Bible says that the fall-out from sin causes “groaning” across the scope of creation. Romans 8:22
If people abused their phones, defied the operating instructions, ignored screen warnings and failed to keep it properly charged – could the creator/manufacturer be blamed for the problems and frustration experienced? No – but it creates a ‘teachable moment’ for anyone who seeks a different outcome.
This is a teachable moment.
“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” – C.S Lewis
Some who have denied God’s reality are secretly wondering if they should just drop all their arguments and denials and call out to Him for mercy at this time. Yet, it goes against the grain of the human psyche to admit weakness and helplessness and call out for intervention.
The Real Leveler without Exceptions
If COVID-19 is the great physical health leveler, SIN2020 is the great spiritual health leveler and has always been. When it comes to sin and its present effects and eternal consequences, the entire human family is on the very same level before God. Good living, upright people who are sincere in their beliefs, have no higher standing before their Creator God than those who deny His existence or profane His Name and live for themselves.
… there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus… Romans 3:22-24 ESV
… there is no distinction … the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:12-13 ESV
Is your back against life’s wall today? Will you call on Him? You may not be among the number who have questioned God’s existence. Perhaps you have just left God in the margins of your life, hoping to get back to Him later.
Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 2Corinthians 6:2 ESV
Now is the time to bring God into the center of your life. He is ready to make a major intervention and deliver you from your present darkness. Are you ready to be transparent and honest about your own heart?
The greatest salvation and peace you could ever experience in life is something only God can do for you. The deepest meaning you could ever have in life and the brightest future you could ever imagine comes from God alone.
Are you ready to call out to God?
I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. Psalm 34:4-6 ESV
Here’s an invitation not to ignore:
Jesus said, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NLT
COVID-19 – Yes, We Are Praying
Those of us who love the Lord Jesus Christ and know Him personally as our Saviour, we are praying for our leaders, scientists, critical front-line responders, behind-the-scene workers, supply-chain workers, the unemployed, the elderly, the vulnerable, those without power or privilege in society, the sick and their families and the list goes on.
But we are also praying for those who have no peace or spiritual anchor in Christ during the storms of life. If that describes you, we are praying for you too. Get in touch with us.