Where is God in the pandemic?


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Evangelical Library, Colombo, Sri Lanka Pause for thought with Trust Director, Chris Moffett

At a time of national and international crisis, Trust Director Chris Moffett reflects on one of today's most frequently asked questions; a question being posed by both Christians and non-Christians alike: "Where is God in this Covid-19 pandemic?"

Different people will answer this question in different ways.  The truth is that different people need to hear different things. 

Jesus spoke to individuals with a personal word. There is no one-size fits all with Jesus. It is entirely bespoke. 

  • To the widow whose son had died – he spoke tender words and gave practical help raising her son to life.
  • To Peter, who had a habit of engaging mouth before brain, he spoke a very direct and firm rebuke. 
  • To the humble Roman officer, used to commanding others, he spoke words of commendation and gave practical help. 
  • To the exploitative money changers in the temple, he spoke God’s angry rebuke! • To the woman at the well, whose life had been pretty mixed up, he spoke words of respect drawing from her words of latent faith. 
  • To a blind man who recognized him as the Son of David, he responded with generosity, giving him what he most wanted – his sight. 
  • To a paralysed man, lowered through the roof, he spoke words that he most needed to hear. “You are forgiven!” 

It is striking and significant that Jesus tended to speak very kindly to outsiders, the marginalised and poor. To those who were self-confident and full of themselves or who should have known better, he was a very straight talker. 

So, what does God say to you? 

Well he certainly understands you, your situation and the times we are living in. He loves you and he knows everything about you –to be sure your faults and failings but also those acts of selfless service and kind deeds. Jesus tells us what we need to hear – not necessarily what we’d like to know. I doubt that any of us will get a complete answer to the “Why do you allow Covid-19?” question. Our ‘tiny minds’ just couldn’t understand it. But “What have you to say to me in this situation?” - well, that’s something we can handle. 

To hear God’s voice, we need to listen. We need to give him attention. Here’s one way to do that. Find a copy of the Bible, preferably a modern version if you have one. Then find a quiet spot and turn to Mark’s gospel; the second book in the New Testament. Lay down your worries and concerns for a while and start reading. It is amazing that the Risen Lord Jesus, through the working of the Holy Spirit, can have something to say to each one of us who turns to him with an open heart and mind. 

Chris Moffett, Trust Director

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my 
mother’s womb. I  praise you because I am fearfully and 
wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well"
Psalm 139:13 - 14

 

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