People all over the world are experiencing feelings of helplessness and vulnerability as we battle the “invisible enemy,” the coronavirus. Perhaps now more than ever before in modern times, we are truly starting to grasp just how little control we have over our lives, despite our best efforts.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a press conference earlier this week things may never get back to what we viewed as “normal.” It’s a daunting thought. But on further reflection, I think that in some ways this could be a blessing, from a Christ-centered perspective.
Pastor Erwin McManus told my pastor, Josh Kelsey, in a livestream discussion a few weeks ago that (aside from Jesus’ life), “We are currently experiencing the greatest act of global compassion in human history.” He explained there has never before been a time when so many people have taken such drastic measures to protect the vulnerable in society on a global scale.
What a beautiful thought. I trust it is Jesus who is stirring this compassion in our hearts – believers and non-believers alike.
Just before He died on the cross, Jesus had one last meal with His 12 disciples. When they arrived, Jesus knelt down and washed the feet of each of them. Scholars have explained the significance of this action. In ancient times, this task would have been assigned to the lowliest servant in a household. This is why the disciples were embarrassed and disturbed when Jesus, the man they knew to be God’s son, got down on His knees to perform this service.
Jesus replied, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you” (John 13:14-15).
Isn’t it fascinating that the majority of the quarantine has lined up with Lent (the 40 days leading up to Easter Sunday)? For years the Israelites waited on God’s Messiah to rescue them from hundreds of years of exile and strife.
In the midst of their waiting, God reassured the people about the coming Messiah through the prophet Isaiah saying, “He who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick: Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing. Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:16-19).
God reminded the Israelites of all the miraculous things He did to bring them out of slavery in Egypt, and foreshadowed He would make a new way to help them escape from a different kind of slavery: sin and death.
Though this message was delivered to the Israelites, it is intended to be a promise for every human heart. And while being in quarantine is not as extreme as living in exile, God recognizes our suffering through this time. He weeps with those who have lost loved ones and is near to those who are feeling hopeless.
Through the pain and strife, I believe God is making a new and improved way for us to live. After all, God loves restoring things
But through the pain and strife, I believe God is making a new and improved way for us to live. After all, God loves restoring things. His greatest act of restoration was sending His Son to die for us so that we might escape death and live in harmony with God once again.
I find it interesting that one of the primary methods health officials are asking the public to help protect themselves and others from contracting the coronavirus is to continually wash our hands. I can’t help but wonder – what would happen if every time we went to wash our hands, we imagined the image of Jesus washing our feet?
God is inviting each of us right now to come back to His table and discover new ways to serve Him and others. This Easter Sunday, let’s rededicate ourselves to the God who is faithful and just and who promises to fight for us when we put our trust in Him.
Rather than dwell on the sense of “normalcy” we might miss, let’s long for a better and brighter future and believe God is doing miraculous things at this time to create a better world for us. As Jesus reminded us:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).