“Why is the Lord taking us to this country only to have us die in battle? Our wives and our little ones will be carried off as plunder! Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?”Numbers 14:3 NLT
Why. Why is the common and most quickly accessed question for humans as we process difficulty and adversity. Humans are always searching for meaning amidst circumstance. For the Israelites they were brought out of Egypt only to face challenge throughout the desert.
Frustration and anxiety can only be kept at bay for so long! They were ready to ditch Moses and head right back into the slavery of Egypt. Now, in hindsight we see the Goodness of God that was weaved throughout their journey; the desert would be the preparation for the promise. But in the midst of it their questions of why would blind them.
Today it has been 11 days since the escalation of Governmental Orders turned our world upside down in light of the COVID-19 Pandemic. I have processed with many over the past week that are starting to ask the question “Why”. “Why” is a GOOD question, that in time will give clarity for God’s Character, even though an answer may not every be available. BUT today is not the day for “Why”. Today the circumstances, our own emotional toil, and the collective frenzy of our world makes it difficult to process the “Why”. Today I would invite you into asking the question “How”:
How do I feel right now?
This is not the time for your approval or disapproval of the President, of our governor, or of the CDC. History will be the judge of the world’s actions. But how do YOU feel? Self awareness is one of the most helpful tools for the Apprentice of Jesus. The Psalmist David told the Lord,
“Search me, God and know my heart”.Psalm 139
Are you feeling anxiety? Are you worried about some vulnerable family members? Are you facing financial hardship or are you expecting hardship on the horizon? Are you angry with someone for their choices during this Pandemic? If there ever were ever a time to start journaling your prayers and thoughts, it would be now!
How does God feel?
I was listening to Mark Batterson this morning and he had a great observation.
“It’s easy in times like this to let our theology be shaped by our circumstance, rather than let our circumstance be shaped by our theology.”Mark Batterson
My invitation for you today is to begin working through the Psalms. We will have some more devotions coming out with a reading plan; but you will find yourself identifying with the Psalmists that are processing their current circumstances through the lens of God’s perfect character. SPOILER: God loves you and I beyond belief and is willing to go to the ends of the earth for us to be kept in perfect relationship with Him. That’s how God feels!
How does God want to transform me?
Adversity is the front door to transformation. The Apprentice of Jesus, if he or she is willing, is able to allow the circumstances to shape and refine their Character. Church Fathers call this process, “Passive Spirituality”. It’s not passive as in we don’t play an active role; rather it is passive as it happens TO us. We are invited to let this season to do it’s Good work.
Here is the good news: The Kingdom of God is at hand now! At the front end of Jesus’ ministry he unrolled a scroll, reading from Isaiah His mission would be clear:
“The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free…”Luke 4:18 NLT
And this is only fueled by our present circumstance. God is giving us Hope!