Like many of you, my family had church yesterday in our pajamas. The kids got a kick out of worshiping barefoot, however it was a bit unsettling to think this may be our new normal as we “shelter in place” due to Covid-19. I’ve got about one thousand questions about this new normal: Can I survive my children for 4 weeks in our house? When did I run out of topics to discuss with my husband? How do I keep from eating all of my quarantine supplies in one day? But among the surface-level questions, there is a deeper one brewing. I can’t be alone in asking, “God what in the world are you up to?”
The typical response falls in one of two camps. One camp believes that God has rained down this plague among the earth. The other considers this an outpouring of our broken world; in this camp the actions of man are inconsequential. I’ve weighed this out in my head. I sought biblical counsel. I listened for godly wisdom. Yet, I could not clearly communicate my thoughts until I watched a live stream from Dr. Tony Evans.
(view full sermon here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZYSxs5pS0M)
Dr. Evans reflects on what he calls “God’s passive will” demonstrated in Romans Chapter 1. The people rebelled against the rule of God, “Therefore God gave them over in the desires of their hearts to impurity, to dishonor their bodies among themselves. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.” (Romans 1:24-25) People chose to dismiss God and follow their own passions. As a result, God left them alone to clean up their own mess. Sound familiar?
In my own lifetime, I have seen what was once held to be foundational truth questioned in every facet of society. Even the church has subjected itself to the dismantling of biblical truth as we actively conform to society instead of transforming society from the inside out. We as people have turned to worship the creation over the Creator. Thus leaving a vacuum in which chaos rules.
If we have lost our way is there any chance to collectively find our way back to the feet of our Lord? 2 Chronicles 15:4 says “Because of their distress, they turned back to the Lord God of Israel. They sought him and he responded to them.” My eyes are drawn to the final part of this verse; the Hebrew translation renders it, “they sought him and he allowed himself to be found by them.” I don’t know about you but this gives me tingles when I read it! The people had turned from the Lord, the people thought they knew better, the people submitted themselves to idols. As a result, they were pressed on every side, without peace and in utter chaos, the very foundation and stability of their global systems had been shaken.
But in their distress…they sought him and He let them find him. What a gracious God we serve! When he allows calamity to fall upon us he doesn’t watch like a tormenting toddler who puts a worm in the hot sun only to watch it wiggle in distress. Rather God is a good father, who knows how to give good gifts. (Matthew 7:11) He did not make it difficult for his people to find him. He did not make them jump through hoops to prove their worth, rather in their distress they sought him out and God was waiting there with open arms.
Are you in distress today? Maybe you are just battle-weary from boredom or worse you aren’t sure how you will pay the rent or keep your business afloat. I want to encourage you today to seek the Lord. No matter how you’ve neglected him in the past, seek the Lord. No matter what idol you have lifted up above the name of our God, seek the Lord. No matter how cold your relationship with Jesus Christ has grown, seek the Lord. And when you do, I know without a shadow of a doubt that he will allow himself to be found.
If you look through recent post on social media you can already see a glimpse of a world in distress, seeking God, maybe for the first time in years. I wait with baited breath as my timeline is flooded with the likes of a politician crying out for repentance unto the Lord, our Brazilian brothers and sisters singing their hearts out from quarantine balconies “Because He Lives I Can Face Tomorrow,” and black and whites in an Alabama Sam’s Club breaking out in spontaneous praise. Truly if we seek him we will find him!