How often do we ask this question when we find our lives taking unexpected turns? Especially during this time of the Covid-19 Pandemic along with the “Shelter in Place” orders and basic shutdown of what was thought to be our normal society, we are experiencing drastic changes that have altered many aspects of how we do things and, for many, even the direction of our lives. It’s important to remember in times like these that God never allows disruption to happen without a new course planned out that is meant for our good.
The entire Bible can be summed up with the understanding that there is more than what meets the eye with God. God’s view of reality is much deeper then ours as He sees beyond what we can with our five senses. We must remember that there is always something more happening in our lives than what we ‘sense’ around us. There is always a bigger picture that we might not yet grasp.
This proved to be true when the Israelites were challenged by the fierce warrior Goliath, when the Israelites were trapped between the Red Sea and the charging Egyptians, when the widow gave the last of her supplies to make Elijah a cake, and when God allowed the grand Temple of Solomon to be destroyed and then the Jews were deported from Jerusalem in 587 BC. All of these events resulted in good. All give teach us the lesson that God can bring good out of bad.
This lesson can ultimately be seen when Jesus died on the cross leaving the Apostles and other followers of Christ utterly dumbfounded. Can you imagine following Him for 3 years expecting triumph and glory, 3 years of anticipating a Jewish life no longer under the rule of the Romans, for a new order of society equal to that of the elegant and affluent kingdom of Solomon only to have every hope and dream squashed by the sudden arrest and death of Jesus?
We know because of hindsight the ultimate plan that Christ brought about with His Crucifixion. We know of His triumph over death wrought by His Resurrection. However, at the time His Apostles must have felt abandoned even though God was with them at every moment during those three days of quiet insecurity.
We all have seen many episodes of various tv shows where a friend group is planning a surprise birthday party for one of the group members. While unaware of this party plan, the friend tries to get people to spend his birthday with him without reminding them of his birthday. Everyone says no because they already have plans and the rejected friend gets upset because it seems like everyone has forgotten his birthday.
He doesn’t know of all the hard work that is going into the planning of his party. He doesn’t see the love that they have for him showcased through all the sacrifice and generosity taking place behind his back. It’s easy to see that if he had known all along, he would not have been upset, but very happy instead.
God has not forgotten us. He always has us in mind. It might seem like He ghosted us with this virus, but the opposite is true. He has been arranging everything for us without our knowing. He is paving the path ahead so that it is easier for us when we need to walk down it.
Furthermore, He is continuously working to bring good out of all the difficult events that we face right now. Once again, the gift of hindsight will show us that even though something bad has happened, God is still triumphing. So too will those who stay close to Him triumph.
It was a sudden occurrence when everything was shut down in order to mitigate the Coronavirus. Very little of life looks like it did this time last year. A lot of bad things happened during the shutdown of the churches, schools, stadiums, parks, and beaches and when everyone was ordered to stay home.
The only way forward through this, the only way to keep our sanity, is to do our best to remember that God is fighting for us and to focus on the positive things that are happening in this. If not we will lose ourselves to bitterness, which will build up and cause us to miss out on living a full life of joy and peace.
Bitterness is the enemy of joy and peace. It locks us into only thinking of ourselves making us more and more selfish. And the more selfish we are, the more miserable we will become.
We don’t have to settle for a miserable life. We can do much better. When we face sudden obstacles and changes in our lives, we don’t need to give in and accept defeat.
Charles Darrow was let go from his job as a heater salesman after the great stock market crash of 1929. He did not let himself become overwhelmed by his situation. Instead, he noticed a game that many people were playing at the time and came up with his own version of it. He then began selling it and marketed it to big board game companies.
Even after he was rejected a few times, Charles continued to invest in his game and sell it until it became wildly popular. One of the game companies came back to him, changing their minds, and bought it from him. Monopoly is now one of the most popular board games in the world and it made Charles Darrow the first game developer to become a millionaire.
It’s important to remember that this all happened during the Great Depression. Charles did not let his situation or the sunken economy take command his life, but instead he pushed through and focused on what good things were happening around him to help him improve himself. He was able to pivot when his life took a sudden turn and make something of himself.
What is interesting is that if the Great Depression never happened, if Charles never lost his job, he might not have ever developed the game and made his fortune. In fact, we see that he was better off because he lost his job. God wants us to have the same outlook on our own lives.
We don’t know the end results. We do not know where these current events will take us. All we can do is our best to pivot, choose what is best for ourselves and others, and stay close to Jesus.
One day we will look back on this pandemic and see all the good that the Lord did for us to get us through the difficult parts. We can still mourn for all of the death and sickness, for that is truly sad. However, we will also be able to rejoice over what might be gained through all of this. I refuse to believe that it is all loss.
Much good is still yet to be discovered as to what God is doing right now. We can only wait and pray as the Apostles did in their confusion as they questioned God during their crisis. It’s ok to ask, “Lord, what are you doing?” as long as we do so trusting that whatever it is, He is doing it for our good.