Covid Reflections

For [even the whole] creation (all nature) waits expectantly and longs earnestly for God’s sons to be made known [waits for the revealing, the disclosing of their sonship].  – Rom 8:19, AMPC

Meditation

During this season, God is using the Covid isolation, paranoia and weariness plus spiritual disciplines to shore-up my gratitude for how He intervenes for me everyday.  To curb spread of the virus, I have simplified my life.  My “get-up and go” has been overshadowed by “slow down and stay put”.  Slowing down has caused me to admire His faithfulness even more.    

Today, I marinated on Romans 8:19.  In the same way that a chef marinates his entree to saturate it with delicious juices and ridiculous flavors before BBQ, I allowed God’s Word to soak deeply into my heart, mind and spirit.  I read. I marinated. I prayed and I visualized how God inspired Paul to encourage a Roman audience who, also, bore the weight of fear, fatigue and frustration.  Welcome to my Lectio Divina

I Read.  I asked myself, “Who is ‘All of creation’?” (Rom 8:19)  I was reminded of Jesus statement to His Palm Sunday followers that, “If these people would keep silent, the very stones would cry out.” (Lk 19:40).  Again in history, besides the anticipated rejoicing of believers, all creation will cheer when Jesus re-enters humanity to defeat sin and death.  Angels will celebrate.  Creation, things animate and inanimate, will shout praise at the unsurpassed wisdom and majesty of the Messiah.  Every living thing, past and present, will stand in honor and bow in respect to the servant King who leads with grace and rules in truth (Jn 1:14).     

I Marinated.  I asked myself, “Why the ‘manifestation of the Sons of God’?” (Rom 8:19)  Then, it occurred to me.  Right now, we know that intentions, outcomes, saints and pseudo-saints are veiled by the master of lies and deception.  He prides himself on disorder, misinformation, chaos and confusion. God has already chosen a time and place, foreseen in history, to remove doubt and reveal His truth in brilliant light:

The Lord, the holy God of Israel,
    the one who shapes the future, says:
‘You have no right to question me about my children
    or to tell me what I ought to do!’”  Is 45:11 

Caiaphas predicted that Jesus would die for all of the scattered children of God, throughout human history, to bring them together and make them one.  At the right time, Jesus will intercede, clean house, restore righteousness and reveal His true followers. (Jn 11:51-52)     

I Prayed.  Andre Louf (1929-2010), in his book Teach Us to Pray: Learning a Little About God, talks about the “superabundance of prayer”.  God’s Spirit resides in our heart with richness (Col 3:16).  We are rooted in His Person.  We are grounded by His power.  Our joy overflows with confident praise and assured thanksgiving (Col 2:16).  In superabundant prayer, our hearts spillover with this faithful trust.  Soon, these prayers will yield to the collective sighs and shouts of all creation at the coronation of its King.    

I visualized.   I react to 2020 with tempered zeal.  I am “waiting expectantly and longing earnestly” for the culmination of God’s plan and purpose. I yearn for fallen man, Coronavirus, SARS, cancer, plagues, poverty, injustice, greed, envy, mental illness and imperfections which seemingly never end, to be wiped away by the swift stoke of recovery, redemption and restoration.   

Today, I visualized a different global outcry...

Application

I get it! I do not dismiss the global Covid impact.  However with surpassing fervor, I stand to proclaim with Paul that I cannot wait for God reveal himself and punctuate human history … for all eternity.  In the meantime, I live in awe of God’s grace and mercy that intervenes, daily, and shelters me from corrosive sin and fallen humankind.  I praise him for His mercy and grace that rescues me from the quicksand of depravity and decay.

Oh, the exhilaration of God calling-out His sons, from history past and present, to the fanfare and applause of His angels and all creation!  Live through the moment!

 


[1] Marinating; not meditating.  Tod Bolsinger, Pastor of San Clemente Presbyterian Church and Fuller Theological Seminary professor, coined this “new” spiritual discipline as Eastern religions muddied the concept of “meditation”.  Christians immerse themselves consciously in God’s Word and truth. We marinate in His presence and promises.