I am a handful of days ahead of you on this “stay at home” order. My wife, Celeste, and I returned to the US from ministry in Europe one day before a mandatory “self-quarantine” for European returnees went into effect. Nevertheless, we chose to self-quarantine. By God’s grace, we are healthy and showing no symptoms of COVID-19.
I don’t pretend to have learned all of what God would have me to learn. Nor have I perfected the few things that have already become glaringly obvious. So, as a fellow “stay-at-homer,” I invite you to journey with me as I ponder biblical truths in the face of our current realities. I plan to summarize each day’s lesson with a single word.
Today’s word is “sovereignty.”
I must admit, that I have found myself posing some of the same questions in my mind that the prophet Habakkuk posed 2600 years ago.
OK, I will concede that his situation was different. Rather than a pandemic, he and his people faced injustice, oppression, strife, conflict, and opposition. Still, like all of us have done, he called out to God for help.
How did God respond? Silence…The prophet could hear the crickets chirping in the background. It seemed that God neither made an effort to rescue or even to listen.
Fast forward back to our situation. The daily COVID-19 reports seem to give greater cause for concern than reassurance that we have turned the corner. Has God not heard our cries? Is this outside of His awareness? Is it somehow beyond His control? Does it pack more clout than His power? Is God ignorant, uncaring, or impotent?
- In our hearts we may know the answer, but in our minds, we may still pose such questions.
Rewind back to the prophet. Did God ever respond? Yes, He did. He offered assurance of His awareness and activity. God was still at work. In fact, He was working in astounding, unbelievable, and (from a human vantage point) in unwanted ways. Although Habakkuk didn’t recognize it, God was at work. By the end of the book written by this prophet, he was finally surrendered to that truth. He trusted God even if he was unable to see visible evidence of change in the moment. Will you trust and rejoice in the sovereign God of the universe?
Friends, keep in mind:
- The presence of pain does not mean the absence of God.
- The reports of calamity do not negate the work of God.
- The volume of our questions need not drown out the reality of the sovereignty of God.
God is loving and sovereign!