As we approach the one-year anniversary of when COVID-19 and the shutdowns began, I cannot help but notice how much uncertainty and disbalance there is in our lives nowadays. To our human mind this is the worst possible outcome. To not know what the next week or month will bring is terrifying. However, it is during times of uncertainty and discomfort when we are most likely to come to God with an open heart to seek His purpose and will in our lives.
Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
I came across an interesting article written in October 1918 during the Spanish Flu Pandemic that says, “while our churches remain closed because of the Spanish Influenza, the way to His hearing ear is still open, and we are finding it a splendid opportunity to devote additional time to prayer”.
While we love certainty, we also cannot deny that during certain and peaceful times we become complacent and, many times, ineffective for the work God has for us. We become more dependent on our own capabilities and not as much on stepping out in faith and trusting God’s guidance.
The way the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives, each to a different degree, should clearly show us that our lives are not in our control – that if we have peaceful and comfortable times, it is God’s grace on us. However, if we have difficult times like these, it is God showing His love towards us as He is preparing us for His purposes which we may or may not yet see. I feel confident that these difficult times will serve His purpose. One can see throughout God’s Word how during the difficult and uncertain times, God always accomplishes His work through the people that continue to stay in communion with Him through prayer.
As we look back over the last year, we see many businesses that were closed down as a result of government orders, and others that are on the verge of closing. However, we have seen our churches show great resilience and an ability to adjust to the times even though there were orders to close down in-person gatherings. During this time, not only have churches stayed operational, but many of them have developed a much more active online presence. Through an online presence, a church is not only able to continue serving their local community, but they can now reach any person, in any city, that has internet. This is a major accomplishment that may not have been as urgent to get in place if this pandemic had not happened.
So, while there are many negative and uncertain side effects from this pandemic that we will continue to feel for many years, if we truly take the time to analyze it, we will see that this is not a random event. We can also reference back to God’s Word and see that nearly each and every major work that His people did was accomplished through adverse circumstances. Knowing this we can acknowledge that within all this uncertainty, God has a purpose, and if we align our plans to serve Him first and search for His purpose through prayer, we will be able to accomplish His will through whatever the circumstances may be.