Covid Breaks Through

Covid may have done more damage in your life than you first realized.  I find myself sharing with a good number of people who are finally opening up about the effects on their lives from the last year and a half. It seems that some of the struggles that they thought were simply Covid related have stuck around. They thought that these struggles would fade away when things began to get back to normal.  That has not been the case.  They are realizing, for the first time, that these struggles are theirs to own and not symptoms of their circumstances.  Of course, that is always true.  The sufferings we face are not usually the source of the majority of our pain...our attitudes and outlooks of that suffering are.  If we view our sufferings as a part of the day that God has given us and we face those sufferings in his might, then today is a day to rejoice in.  But if we view our sufferings as an injustice, a raw deal from God, then not only will we suffer today, but we will find great misery as well.

This past year and a half broke through our defenses in ways that we were not expecting.  Who, besides God, could predict such a global pandemic?  How could we have been ready for something we never experienced before?  These past days were used by God to expose our hearts in ways that nothing else could.  Fears, hardness of hearts, arrogance of opinions, judgmental hearts, anger, etc.  All were exposed.  Too often, as these sins got exposed, we blamed it on our circumstances.  In reality, the circumstances simply exposed these sins of our hearts as areas of growth needed in our lives.  It was God working to conform us to the image of his son.

We would expect, then, that the last year and a half would have been days filled with needed repentance. Great times of raw confession as our hearts and attitudes were laid bare before God and those close to us.  Times of weeping over our failures to handle each day with compassion, empathy, patience, courage, trust and faith.  Times of great intimacy with our Father who forgives us and showers his love upon his children who fail him daily.  Times of longing to be in his house together with other believers whose hearts were open before him and who simply desired to corporately love their God.

Yet, here we sit.  Cold hearted.  In judgment of others.  Angry at them for handling life differently than we do.  Fearful of what could happen if we open our lives up to being with others.  Looking at closed Bibles.  Shrinking from the battles that Jesus all ready won on the cross.  Lazy.  Self centered on our needs alone.  Not speaking with God...not truly speaking with others.

It is time to get dressed for battle again.  We begin with repentance.  We begin with opening our Bibles and allowing the Spirit to address the issues that suffering exposed.  We take up our shields of faith and do the things that we used to do.  We reach out, we give, we serve, we empathize, we love, we have patience, we put others first, and we stop hiding.  Covid did not cause these heart issues.  It simply exposed them so that God could continue to move us toward glory.

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