We are currently living in the middle of life before COVID-19 and life after COVID-19. One way of viewing our world has ended and another way of viewing the world is still in process.
During the next five weeks, I will blog about stories in the Bible where God’s people were in “The Middle” and how they responded to God in uncertain times. This week I will take a look at the Old Testament story of Job. Please take a moment to read Job 1:1-22; 4:7-8 and 42:7-17.
This book is about a man named Job who has his family, wealth, and health taken away from him. Naturally, he wrestles with why all of this suffering is happening. How can a loving, all-powerful God allow people to suffer? Is Job at fault for his sufferings? (It was a very common belief at the time that suffering in one’s life happens because of sin.) The book never really explains why these bad things happened but it does make clear that Job is not suffering due to some hidden sin.
We very well may struggle with some of the same questions Job is dealing with in this ancient text. If God is so loving and powerful, why does he allow such a pandemic to exist in the world today?
Sometimes when we are in crisis we tend to reach for anything that can help us feel better. We medicate our anxiety with things that are unhealthy for us like overeating, alcohol or other substances, or buying too much toilet paper. During this time of waiting and not knowing what is next, let it be a time you put your faith in God.
Job did not look at his suffering as just a bad thing. Suffering gives us the opportunity to wake up and see things a bit differently. By going through this time of life we can see more clearly what is important in life and make changes to be closer to who God has created us to be. Job put his faith in God. The book of Hebrews tells us “Faith is the reality of what we hope for, the proof of what we don’t see.” Having faith keeps me from spiraling and watching the news 24/7 and eating my weight in Oreo’s.
We are in “The Middle” right now. We don’t know how long this time will last or what changes will come to our world after we come through this crisis, but we do know God is with us. We need to have faith like Job that God is at work in the chaos.
As the Church, we are in the season of Lent, a time where we remember Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness. The journey through this COVID-19 “wilderness” will not last forever. Resurrection is coming!