This post is by Kelli LaFram.
COVID-19 is the most horrible thing that many of us will ever experience. People are sick. Many are dying. Isolation and depression go hand-in-hand. World health professions are frustrated at their lack of knowledge of the virus. Our nation’s leaders are doing their best to keep us healthy and wealthy, but their best is not enough.
This is horrible, miserable, and agonizing.
These words remind me of another time in history -- a time when a single Man suffered pain far deeper than we could comprehend. His disciples experienced disappointment and despair like never before. And yet… and yet, something good and beautiful and life-giving was born out of it.
Jesus Christ, a man who claimed to be the Son of God, a man who promised to bring salvation to a lost word died. He was hung on a cross and murdered. Not a quick “humane” execution, but a slow gorey and agonizing death -- a death that was accompanied by earthquakes, literal darkness, dead people walking out of their tombs, and the holy veil spontaneously being torn from top to bottom (Mathew 26: 45, 51-53, Mark 15:37, Luke, 23:44).
Can you imagine? Can you imagine the confusion and fear that people were experiencing as Jesus’ body hung on the cross?
We all know fear. We all know confusion. Many of us are living in it right at this very moment. And rightfully so. We don’t understand what is going on. We see people sick and dying. Our worlds have been turned upside down.
But there is hope. Darkness will break. Dawn will come.
Dawn did come after Christ was crucified and it was in hindsight that many of his disciples understood the beauty of the cross.
On the day of His resurrection, Jesus appeared to two of His followers on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35). They were confused and were trying to understand all that had happened in the past few days. The problem was they depended on their own reasoning ability and because of this their eyes were restrained (vv 15-16). They could not see that Jesus was walking with them.
Jesus is with us too. Do we see Him? Or are we relying on our own ability to figure out why COVID-19 is happening?
When the men on the road to Emmaus stopped reasoning, stopped talking and let Jesus speak they began to understand. When they broke bread with Jesus their eyes were opened and they knew they had been with Jesus (vv 28-31).
They understood the Scriptures (v 32). The beauty of all the destruction they had witnessed was visible. The cross and the broken body that was nailed to it were no longer senseless in their eyes.
Jesus had purchased their salvation -- our salvation -- and it was glorious to behold!
I know it may seem strange to compare the Cross to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even as I type this, I question whether or not the comparison is a good one to make. Perhaps, perhaps not, but this is the point that I am trying to make:
If God can use the ugly death of His Son for our good and His glory, He is capable of doing it with the COVID-19 pandemic too.
In hindsight the disciples saw and they believed even more in the name of Jesus Christ. In hindsight, I pray that we can do the same.
The good that comes from our current situation may seem small. Maybe the stay-at-home order has given you the time to teach your child how to ride a bike. Maybe your struggling kindergartner is thriving under your one-on-one homeschooling efforts. Perhaps you’ve had more time to exercise and you have more energy to serve than you’ve ever had before.
On the other hand, the good that comes from the pandemic might be far more critical. Maybe your broken and hurting local church will lean into Jesus like never before and allow Him to redeem and restore your fellowship. Maybe a desperate, out-of-work, single mother will finally cry out to God for help. Perhaps the unbelieving and dying neighbor will use his last few breaths to call on the name of Jesus.
We may not see the beauty now, but I believe that in time we can.
We don't know when or how this pandemic will end. We may not know exactly why it is happening. We may never know, but we can take comfort in the fact that Jesus is with us. We are not alone.
He is working and doing something wonderful. It may be ugly, it may be dark, it may be agonizing and painful now, but it will not last.
The beautiful dawn is coming.
Kelli LaFram is actually Kelli LaFramboise, but no one can pronounce that, so with the permission of her husband and four kids she writes under the shorter pen name. Her neighbors have started referring to her bunch as the LaFram Fam. In addition to writing for Hello Mornings, Kelli has also led bible studies in her home and served in the children’s ministry at her local church. Kelli is an elementary school teacher and her hobbies include blogging about God’s word, listening to audiobooks with her children, drinking good coffee, hand painting faith-based signs (but not after too much coffee), and helping her carpenter husband build furniture. You can find her at www.quietlyreminded.com and https://www.instagram.com/kellilafram/.
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