The more I have grown in my spiritual life, and the deeper my relationship with God has become – the more I see how God is working all the time, all around and within the things going on in my life, Even in the midst of my greatest hardships, God is already working to bring healing and wholeness . And on a much bigger scale, I know that God is already mitigating and rectifying the damage that has occurred from living in this fallen world. So when it comes to the COVID-19 virus, I know that God is already working to heal us from this dreaded disease, even while it is still going strong and gaining speed. 

In times like these, it’s important to remind ourselves how God works in the world. God did not take this wonderful creation of his and mold it into a world of perfection, so that everything works in perfect harmony with everything else and all God’s creatures – including us – experience an endless life of perfect divine love with all other creatures … and with other humans … and with God. To the extent that world ever existed here (see Genesis 1), it was in the time of creation before the first human beings (see Adam and Eve) exercised the greatest gift, and curse, that God had granted to them  … a free will. 

As soon as free will was first exercised (see Forbidden Fruit), bad stuff happens. Still, the gift of free will is the blessing from God that actually makes us who we are. Essentially, it means that Pastor Bob is not a faultless robotic example of living in perfect harmony with all God’s creation and experiencing endless divine love with all God’s creatures. Sorry about that. But if it was true, then it wouldn’t be “Pastor Bob” writing this article … or doing anything else. The free will that God gave me is the very thing that makes me who I am. And makes you who you are too. From the beginning, God gave each one of us our own freedom … to become ourselves … and to live in this world with everything that comes along with that freedom … including the bad stuff. 

You see, one of things that come along with that freedom is sin. God has given us the freedom to separate ourselves from God. And we have chosen to do that, and continue to do that. Our self-will can choose everyday whether we will go our own way or try God’s way. Our self-will has an inner inclination to go its own way! Have you noticed? And when we go the other way … and separate ourselves from God’s way, then sin occurs. By definition, sin is that which separates us from God. 

As the Apostle Paul so bluntly told us, “The wages of sin is death.” (See Romans 6:23) So, if we cut right through all the research and science to discover where the COVID-19 virus came from … it came from sin. It is a distortion in God’s quest for harmony that works to make people ill and even die. That is not God’s will … that is a separation from God’s will and it was caused by sin — a separation from God somewhere in the divine plan for harmony and perfection.

So, you ask, “Where is God in all this?” I understand that doctors and scientists are working non-stop to learn more about this virus and what we can do to eradicate it. But all of that is part of God’s bigger work every day to bring an end to sin and separation.  Watching this real-life drama unfold in front of us can also remind us how God works in our world. Even as the virus is causing suffering and death, God is already working to bring things back in the direction of perfect harmony and divine love. Even as we stop gathering and cease traveling, God is creating a response to this virus that will get us through it. 

The hard part of this scenario is that we cannot always see God working in the midst of a crisis. It’s hard for us to believe that God is winning the day even as the COVID-19 virus spreads its dastardly consequences to innocent victims. But just because we can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not happening. Right now, in this moment, God is working to restore harmony and perfection to his creation. How do I know that? Because that is what God is always doing! We disrupt it by our sin – our separation from God, and God is there to respond with God’s ability to heal and restore. 

We disrupt. God restores. And the consequences of sin continue to show up in all kinds of various phenomena of life … including viruses. We do not know exactly how sin led to this virus, but we rarely know the full implications of our separation from God. We don’t often get to see the direct line between the act of human self-will and the disruptions to God’s will that it causes. But that’s how this fragile beautiful world of ours has kept from completely unraveling. God walking right behind us, picking up and cleaning up the debris left from our sin. 

Regarding COVID-19 — Yes, God will win, but not without a struggle. Think about Jacob wrestling with the angel (See Genesis 32:32-22). God will win, but it will be a struggle. And then we will go on our way, again, but we will not be the same as before the struggle. And because of how God works in the world, even that will be a good thing! God will take this curse of COVID-19 and, in God’s time, according to God’s will, turn it into a blessing for how we continue to live.   

So, my “good word” to you is this: As this nasty virus spreads across the world, God is on it. God’s got this. It will take time. The virus is powerful and very contagious. But, it’s not stronger than God. Yes, many will be made ill. And many will die. Without wishing to sound harsh … such is the way of the world … not just this virus. Why? –Because the wages of sin is death. Separation from God brings about death … in all sorts of ways. That is precisely why the rest of Paul’s statement is so crucial. Paul says that the wages of sin is death, “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (See Romans 6:23 again) 

Death has been conquered, so it will never win. And sin is constantly creating separation from God … which causes hardships, and struggles, and pain and suffering, and even earthly death. But God is already working, all the time, and will win every time. I know, because I believe it, and I can see it. When we say, “God is good – All the time,” it’s not just a hope and a prayer … it’s the truth.

Blessings to all – 

Pastor Bob <><