Social distancing does not mean spiritual distancing
HYATTSVILLE, Md. — To me, Terrance Burke was more than the…
OKLAHOMA CITY — I’m not the best daily Bible reader.
I become distracted and neglect to open God’s word for a few days.
Or after my eyes move over an entire passage, I realize I allowed my mind to wander. And I fail to grasp what the Lord was trying to tell me.
One way that I reflect and learn is to write things on paper. Since I was a young boy, I’ve loved to jot down thoughts and ideas. Even in the computer age, I prefer a handwritten to-do list.
As 2020 approached, I decided to try a new approach to my Bible reading. I resolved to write down the Scriptures. I ordered a stack of black hardback journals with lined paper from Amazon. I made sure I had plenty of my favorite black, felt-tip pens.
Then I opened the YouVersion app on my iPhone to the Gospel of John.
I’m in no big hurry.
I want to take time to listen to Jesus and get to know him better.
Stuck at home amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, I’ve found myself stressed and worried. I know I’m not alone.
I’ve wondered: What if I were to get the virus and die? What if I were to infect my immunocompromised wife?
Stuck at home amid the coronavirus outbreak, I’ve found myself stressed and worried. I know I’m not alone.
What if my children or even my grandson were to get the virus? What about my parents? Or my brother and sister? Or my nieces and nephews?
As the death toll from COVID-19 has risen globally and in America these past few weeks, I’ve kept progressing through Luke.
Jesus’ approach to the sick and dying brings me hope.
Luke 4 tells us that Simon’s mother-in-law had a high fever, but Jesus rebuked the fever and healed her. As the sun set, Jesus laid hands on all those who were sick with various diseases and healed them.
Then comes this truly amazing scene in Luke 7:
11 Soon afterward he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him.
12 As he drew near the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her.
Can you imagine that woman’s grief? Already, she had lost her husband. And now her only son had died, too.
How will Jesus respond to her?
That was my question as I finished scribbling those words in my journal.
13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said, “Do not weep.”
In my journal, I put three exclamation points and three stars under that verse.
We serve a Savior who understands our hurts and — this is remarkable — has compassion for us.
Let’s read more:
14 Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still, and he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise!”
15 And the dead man got up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.
Think about that: Jesus raised the young man from the dead.
For those who believe what the Bible teaches, this world is not the end. The coronavirus has no control over my ultimate destiny.
For those who believe what the Bible teaches, this world is not the end. The coronavirus has no control over my ultimate destiny. Jesus has promised me an eternity with him.
Does that mean I have total peace over the reports that the U.S. could experience 100,000 to 200,000 deaths and millions of infections from the pandemic? Of course not! If I could find that peace, I wouldn’t be wide awake and typing this at 3:30 in the morning.
But I know that even Jesus was “sorrowful and troubled” as he went to Gethsemane to pray before his crucifixion (Matthew 26:36-44).
We serve a Savior who has conquered death.
Yet we serve one, too, who couldn’t bear to see a grieving mother cry. I have no doubt Jesus hears our prayers and sympathizes with our despair.
Dear God, please give us the strength to put our hope and trust in Jesus.
BOBBY ROSS JR. is Editor-in-Chief of The Christian Chronicle. Reach him at [email protected].
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