This lockdown experience can ‘slow-torture’ our lives into neutral zone.
Neutral zone as in shelving all our endeavours into ‘suspended animation’.
That could sound slightly peppered with the idea of despair. (?)
If we take our example from one of the fathers of the faith it’s a case of – far from it!
Paul the apostle gives us insight into his humanity, but also his triumphal experience as a born again Christian, coming as it does through faith.
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. 8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
He tells us of trouble and perplexity but without despair.
So a 24/7 joyous trouble-less high is not what being a Christian entails.
It does of course firstly entail matters of life or death before it is a whole pile of other things.
‘Where and how shall I spend eternity?’ Is usually a foundational question when examining the Christian faith.
No despair, Paul the apostle indicates in the above verses.
Reason? Because we are never forsaken.
It is the unforsaken-ness that gives the Christian the strength and sustaining solace they need regardless of the situation, they might find themselves in. God is with us (Emmanuel) always, even to the end and further.
However I must admit to a certain neutral dwelling zone that I can drift in and out of. What about you?
I examine this – in order to come to fresh conclusions.
Conclusions that will spur me on to lay hold, more firmly, upon eternal life again.
I Timothy 6/12
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life…
Disillusionment knocks at the door, in light of the chaos abroad.
With no immediate change, or with prolonged sameness, can come disillusionment.
But there is no disillusionment when it comes to the things of God, they are constant.
As the old hymn says: “All may change but Jesus never – Glory to His name!”
Shaking off disillusionment, like Paul did – with the serpent into the fire. (Acts 28/4-6)
Nevertheless I must admit to missing, gathering with, God’s people and lifting the roof in praise. And I mean really lifting the roof!
As far as I am concerned all the clever-most technology will never substitute for human beings – being together ‘in the flesh’, but the great thing and advantage Christians have is being together ‘in the Spirit’.
If that was not the case, being in the flesh as in gathering physically together, would be of little consequence.
What a blessing to be both together in each others company and to worship in ‘spirit and truth’ at the same time.
Meantime, we’ve been doing Zoom. We edify and exhort one another. I’m sure you too are tapping into some online expression of church life?
Depending on the changing shifts of covid-safe rules, we can gather together as church, in a limited way.
In all of this invisible attack (virus), on our world – the question that is exchanged between non-Christian and Christian persons alike, is: ‘What is this achieving – why is it happening – what’s the cause, what’s the point etc.?’ Or something similarly expressed.
What ‘it’ (the pandemic) is supposed to do – as with all trials and tribulations we encounter as human beings – is to cause us to fall on God.
18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken and shattered in pieces; and on whomever it falls, it will crush him.”
There is a brokenness that accompanies humility where the failures of our own efforts and the empathetic hand of God meet, as we fall at His feet in prayer. Falling ON the Rock Christ Jesus. There is coming a terrible day when the Rock Christ Jesus will fall ON all ungodliness.
But many do not recognise The Rock upon which we must fall.
As it is written and forever remains written, “Behold I am laying in Zion a Stone of stumbling and a Rock of offence; And he who believes in Him [whoever adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him] will not be disappointed [in his expectations].”
One of the ways the God of the Bible is a stumbling stone to many is – expressed in the old chestnut: “Why does God allow these things?” (Pandemics)
So they stumble in unbelief (through skewed reasoning).
Whereas whoever trusts in Christ will not be disappointed now and in the long term, especially in the long term.
The way of Christ is in total contradistinction to the other spirit that dominates human beings. He hates anything to do with Christ. He is the antichrist spirit.
Christ is a rock of offence to him, and to those opposed to the gospel.
But he who believes in Jesus Christ the Son of God, will not be disappointed with Him.
Like everyone else I am disappointed in how things are in this world at the moment. An understatement don’t you think?
But I am not disappointed with Christ.
But here is my abrupt end to this post – Christian out there, what is God saying to us?
How does He want us to respond to this pandemic and the state of affairs we find ourselves in?
One thing is for sure our God-dependancy increases with the weakening effect and lack of answers this pandemic has produced.
Who out there will turn to Christ in acknowledgement of how inadequate we still are in the 21st century?
Does this virus not clearly expose the weakness of mankind, and knock him off any self-satisfied or ‘smugness perch’?
Our need of God is self-evident, brought home by things such as this pandemic.
Nevertheless mankind will continue to look for answers through his own ingenuity – until the next humbling event hits the earth.
Give me ingenuity for vaccine finding – but with the big big plus – of welcoming individually, the Presence and Person of Christ in this lost and dying world.