Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of the Sherlock Holmes series, once said, "There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact." A truer statement has never been said, especially in this season of pandemic.
It is amazing how in the midst of …
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It is amazing how in the midst of the overwhelming amount of negative information we are receiving that consistently fills our minds with the negative picture of our present predicament that we can easily forget or even overlook some obvious truths and facts about our current condition. For us, especially us as Believers, we must not allow the fear of COVID-19 to cause us to freeze or become fixed in place to the point we forget our faith. For it is our faith that separates us and identifies us as those who are sustained by a supreme source.
Now let me be sure to say, I am not speaking about ignoring social distancing, shelter in place or the stay-at-home order, for those are all methods to ensure our safety given by professionals whom God allowed to earn degrees and become specialists in their fields. But, Doyle was accurate in his assessment of how deceptive an obvious fact or facts were, especially when overlooked as a result of panic. Panic has the power to paralyze or pause the reasoning of those experiencing the trauma of the panic to the point they ignore the positive purposes of this pandemic.
For the Bible reader, many of the prophetic and apocalyptic texts are filled with those doom-and-gloom passages announcing the impending punishment and wrath of God, and as a reader, it is so easy to be consumed with the "bad news" that we forget the good news that we have benefit to as readers of the story. I would like to suggest that we, too, as a community and a city have become so consumed in the bad news that we have ignored some of the promises found during the pandemic. So, the question is, what are some obvious truths we may have overlooked?
First, pandemics and problems have never been permanent. We must remember that seasons of suffering are never permanent. Smallpox, yellow fever, cholera, scarlet fever, Spanish flu, polio, SARS and Ebola all came through, all caused chaos, but none of them lasted. The same is true with problematic points in our lives, yet while they seem major at the moment, they never last! So, I just want to declare to you that "this too shall pass!"
Second, even though we went through, we were not wiped out. Regardless of what God sent, there was still a population that He was trying to reach. In other words, no one situation wiped out everyone. Some parts of the population survived. We cannot afford to overlook the fact that though we might be going through, the reality is we are not gone. We are still here, and the fact we are reading this column means that whatever came against us did not defeat us, and we are survivors!
Finally, this reset was really needed in our reality. Historically, many times the result of the seasons that came from prophetic declarations was a return and resetting of culture. People returned to God, people repented of their sins, nations ended seasons of war, and communities came together. We must realize that this season of social distancing and stay at home might be just what God has ordered and allowed to provide us the opportunity to reset as a people. We are gaining a new appreciation for essential employees and educators; we are spending more time at home with our family; we are spending more time self-developing and self-exploring; we are birthing businesses, writing books, learning new skills, and we are truly returning to the idea of a "caring community!" But more importantly, believers and non-believers alike are getting an opportunity to see God in a new way. It is often through pandemic and problems that God reveals God's self in a new way! It is through our personal experiences with God that God moves from being who we heard about to being who we know for ourselves.
I just want to encourage us in the midst of the panic that results from this pandemic that there are some obvious truths that we cannot afford to ignore. God is still with us, and if it is God's will, we will be OK. In fact, if we steward this time properly, we will be better after this!
Napoleon A. Bradford, D.Min, is the lead shepherd of The L.I.F.E. Center: A Cyber Community of CHRIST-Followers.
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