Recently, I have been hearing a lot of “Why did God cause the pandemic and where is God in all this?” Well I am clearly not God and thank God for that 😊! But based on His promises in the WORD, it is safe to say that God who sees everything (Heb 4:13), is with us. “Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Josh 1:9). God who is LOVE and GOOD, only has plans for us to prosper and give us hope (Jer 29:11).
God is in charge of everything and nothing happens without his permission, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” (Ps 24:1). God does not Will evil (like wars or the holocaust) to happen, but he permits it, along with an overflowing of blessings and graces. So yes, he permitted the pandemic but did not cause it.
If God permits evil, it is only because he knows he can bring out of that evil A GREATER GOOD.St. Augustine
We live in a disorderly world and the pandemic is the consequence of OUR actions. But more important than the cause, is the reality of many unprepared and unexpected deaths, unattended funerals, sudden unemployment and the end of life as we knew it!
Work stress, a busy and sedentary lifestyle took its toll on me. Recently, I experienced a spasm in my back, which very quickly locked my entire body and I could not move an inch. It took an hour for me to reach my mobile which was 6 inches away. To make a long story short, I had to let go of all my independence and life as I knew it and allow myself to be nursed back to health by beautiful friends and my sister. It took weeks of “being still and knowing that I am God (Ps 46:10), for me to realise this was a WAKE-UP CALL to change my lifestyle. So, right from slowing down my busy pace, walking, physio, eating vegetarian, increasing my WORD and listening to God time… Jesus and I (with His grace) have made good come out of a very painful situation (divine-human partnership).
“And we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom 8:28). So, if God makes good come out of every situation, we, as his children are called to do likewise. So, ARE WE?
But first, how is God making good come out of this global shake-up? In many ways we obviously don’t know but what we can see, is that He gave us a SNEAK PREVIEW of how many of our basic rights and choices to talk, walk, breathe normally etc were no longer in our control. We saw how some were not able to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Holy Eucharist or make peace with their loved ones at their death bed. God is perhaps using this time to gently remind us to REVIEW and make changes, if necessary, in our spiritual lives because NOW is the time of MERCY. Later on when it is the time of God’s Justice, we may not have any choice. Don’t all parents gently correct their children for their good, when needed?
So, has this “unprecedented” situation changed me? Has it resulted in an increase in family /exercise / gardening/cooking / Netflix time which is important for my wellbeing but what about my SPIRITUAL BEING? Have I also used this time so that “He must increase and I must decrease?” (Jn 3:30). If I am just waiting to get back to “normal life,” without making any changes, then I may have missed the whole point of God’s “neon light” wake-up call.
I know several families, who not out of fear but love for God, have decided to be like the wise bridesmaids who were prepared for the coming of the bridegroom and have made decisions to “…stay awake, because you don’t know the day or the hour” (Mt 25:1-13). Several families have also made decisions “… as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15).
Lord, I know you are making good come out of a really challenging situation. Thank you Abba for your wake-up call and for assuring me that this is all part of your merciful and permissive Will, because you love me so much and do not want me to perish but have eternal life (Jn 3:16). But above all, thank you for assuring me that you are not leaving me alone to suffer🙏🤗. You are with me, like you were with Daniel and the 3 men in the fiery furnace and that I have nothing to fear as you love me and are holding my hand…..Amen. Praise Jesus!