In this season of social distancing for many, and shelter in place orders for others, as we all try to fight for faith in the face of COVID-19, I decided to share one thought a day from my daily devotional time in the hope of strengthening other’s hands in God (1 Sam 23:16), and encouraging friends forward in faith. You can subscribe at the bottom of the page to receive an email for each new post, and feel free to come back daily and share with anyone who might find them beneficial.
I use a reading plan that has me reading a few chapters in different parts of the Scripture for every day of the week, and so each day’s content will be dictated by the required daily reading of that plan. I will focus in on one unit of thought rather than trying to address the full scope of the day’s reading. I am trusting God that He will speak from different parts of His Word, as He always does.
Friday, March 27
Reading: Matthew 25-26
38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” — Mt 26:38 (ESV)
Someone I love reached out to me and asked me where I thought God was in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic. They wanted to know how I could believe in a God who was both kind and powerful in a world that manifests such pain and isolation. There was deep hurt etched into every one of their questions, and the questions are good.
My answer, in short, was this.
God is, with us.
Part of what I love about Christianity, and part of what separates it out from every other worldview is its view of the incarnation, the fact that God became flesh and lived among us. What is perhaps most astonishing about that doctrine is the historic teaching of just how God lived among us. He didn’t live a celebrity life of ease and comfort, nor did He live a separated life of abstract philosophical pontification, but rather took the form of a suffering servant and entered into the thick and thistles of human suffering to experience it fully with His people.
In Matthew 26, Jesus had experienced deep betrayal from his dearest friends and was starting to suffer immense emotional anguish as He prepared Himself for an agonizing death. He made a simple request to His friends…
“Can you stay here, with me, while I wrestle this through?”
This is such a remarkable thing to consider.
Jesus knows what betrayal feels like. Jesus knows what deep anguish feels like. Jesus knows what it feels like to wrestle with God in prayer, hoping for a different outcome. Jesus knows what it feels like to be isolated, and to just really want someone to sit with Him.
This why the writer to the Hebrews calls Him our sympathetic high priest.
So friends, where is God in a season of shelter in place, and widespread fear over the Corona pandemic?
He is, with us.
Sympathetic. Acquainted with grief. Willing to sit with us.
Turn to Him.
Courage, dear friends.