What a year!
What a year this has been and it’s not over yet as I write this post in early November! It’s just been one thing after the other. We’ve been dealing with this seemingly unending COVID mess for months (feels like years) and, as though that weren’t enough, it was a presidential election year…and, not surprisingly, THAT mess isn’t decided yet as I write this post!
As bad as it has been, I will say one thing about these issues: they have brought out the truth about people. We got to see exactly where people are living their lives from…what their thoughts and core beliefs are.
Take the COVID mess. When it all began back in March, people started hoarding toilet paper, Lysol, masks and hand sanitizer. You couldn’t find that stuff anywhere for months! (The Lysol, masks and hand sanitizer, I understand, but I will never get why a person would hoard toilet paper during a respiratory illness pandemic. But that is a discussion for another time). What does this behavior tell you about people?
Greedy, unethical and afraid
For one thing, it tells me that many are greedy and have no ethics. Some of this hoarding was done by these people who then tried to resell the stuff at crazy high prices to others who were desperate to get their hands on the items. Why were they so desperate to get the stuff? Because they are unwilling to be inconvenienced and afraid to die. Some people with the financial ability paid any price they could for these items. The poor were just out of luck. Others hoarded what little could be found in stores and online for themselves. One thing these types of hoarders had in common was that they seemed to not care that their behavior was could have been putting the lives of others at risk. Nope. It was “Look out for #1” time for several months. Some true colors were showing there. Not the best moments for a lot of people, that’s for sure.
The crazy shutdowns, lockdowns and distancing involved in all of this were no help when it came to fear and greed. Combined with the unhelpful media sounding the alarm every second of the day, the message was very clear: you will die if you get this so you need to go to every extreme to prevent getting it.
Why is that a problem?
So, what is the problem with that? I’m not going to discuss the fact that you cannot avoid a virus like this. You may be able to slow it down (and thus, drag the pandemic out), but you will not stop it and you cannot totally avoid it. It is impossible to do that, but, that again, is a discussion for another post.
Refusal to accept that we all die.
What I want to talk about is this extreme fear of death and refusal to accept reality. I recently read an excellent opinion piece in which the author said that this extreme fear of death…this refusal to accept the fact that we, as human beings, all die…is a symptom. It is a symptom of a people who don’t believe in God.
I think he is absolutley correct. You see, if people believe in God (and I mean REALLY believe in His existence AND believe what He says in the Bible) then they know there is more to “life” than this physical life we are living on this planet right now. They know there is an afterlife….that they continue on after their mortal bodies die, as all physical bodies do. Because they know they will continue to live on after their physical death, they don’t worship this life. They don’t try to get “theirs” at the expense of others while reasoning that “you only go around once, so you need to look out for yourself above all else”. They don’t treat others with disrespect, dishonesty and disregard when it benefits them to do so. They don’t try to stay alive at any and all costs. They accept that they will one day die and, in fact, they will die the exact day and time that God has determined. Not one second before. Not one second after. And they will die in the way God has ordained. And nothing will stop it from happening. Not lysol. Not a mask. Not a vaccine. Nothing.
The same can be said about this election mess. It’s more greed, self-centeredness and fear on display. People are so obsessed with looking out for their own interests that some get unhinged about getting the candidate that they feel will give them what they want elected to office. If that candidate loses, Watch out! it is the end of the world as we know it!
Well, actually, it’s not.
God is in control, not man.
The Person who is actually in charge of everything is, God. Not Donald Trump. Not Joe Biden. No man or woman is really in charge. God puts in office who He wants in office according to His preordained plan. Sometimes that person looks like the worst possible choice, but, this is God’s plan being worked out…not yours and not mine. While those people are in office, they can only do what God allows them to do. Not one thing more.
8 “Remember this and stand firm,
recall it to mind, you transgressors,
9 remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me,
10 declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but from God; the powers that be are ordained by God.
I can already hear pro-life folks (I am one of them) screaming about abortion. Surely God doesn’t approve of abortion!
There is a difference between approving and allowing. Fact is, God could prevent every single murder that happens on this planet, but He doesn’t. He has His reasons and we are not privy to them. After all, His thoughts are not our thoughts and His thoughts are too high for us to comprehend in many cases. He has the power to prevent anything He wants to prevent. Period. But I digress a little.
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
God controls EVERYTHING
God is in control of EVERYTHING that happens on this planet. EVERYTHING! He controls every aspect of COVID. It’s existence, it’s spread, who gets it, who gets sick form it and how sick they get and, yes, who dies. He controls who gets elected into every single office on the planet and what they do while they are in that office, both “good” and “bad”. The people may cast their ballots, but, just like it says in Proverbs 16:33…..God determines who wins.
33 We may throw the dice,[a]
but the Lord determines how they fall.
God is your defender and provider
God is also our provider and defender, not the elected officials. Worrying about who is going to try to get rid of/protect social security and medicare, cut/increase funding to various programs or cause the loss/gain of jobs is foolish because the person is only an instrument in God’s hands. They are not making these things happen without God’s approval. It is not the candidate we should be looking to for provision and protection, it is God.
The fool says in his heart, there is no God.
But, when a country (or an individual) is becoming more and more humanistic and atheistic, this is what happens. The people panic at the thought of sacrifice, inconvenience, suffering and death. They degenerate into animal level behavior in some cases, turning irrational and violent. They become very easy to manipulate and control as they look to other people to protect them and tell them what to do.
Same can be said about the election. In the eyes of many, these aren’t just faulty men that are being placed in office to be God’s tools. These are gods…the one’s who will determine how the people’s lives will be lived. If there is no God, then you got to get your “god” elected so your particular desires/beliefs can be enacted and protected. When it doesn’t happen that way, fear, panic and anger set in, and you get what we see right now: One huge mess with a lot of anger, accusations, lying, cheating and violence. This is what you get when there is no God.
There IS a God.
So how do you fix a mess like this or prevent it from happening to begin with? You believe their is a God. You believe that God is all knowing, all powerful, loving and in full control. You do as that God has instructed. You stop trying to be in control of something you are not able to, or qualified to, control. You stop wanting people to be put in office that will enable you to continue with your selfishness, greedy ways, perversions and other sins. You put away your evil behavior and follow Him, not a man.
You also follow the most frequent command in the Bible: You do not worry. You refuse to fear. Instead, you trust that God is working all things out according to His good plan, even when it seems like everything is a mess. When you truly believe that that He is in control, you no longer will feel the need to hoard, take advantage of people, steal, lie, cheat, riot, destroy things, threaten people or go crazy over an election. Instead, you remember that God is on His throne and all is as it should be. A good and loving God is in full control.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11