Decisions, Decisions!

man holding Bible

So if you are like me, you have a bit of a quandary regarding what to do next, or even what to believe. The COVID -19 crisis really is a crisis! There is no doubt about that.

There are many, many people that are sick and dying from this virus. People with compromised health should be extremely careful in how they go about their day-to-day activities. And healthy individuals forgoing their normal propensity for physically gathering together so as not to endanger others is an opportunity where they genuinely are considering the needs of others as more important than their own. The shutting down of a majority of the economy has made this an economic crisis as well. The lack of opportunity for people to work and meet the needs of their families is a very real crisis. These are positions that each of us has been forced to contemplate these past several weeks. What is hard to fully comprehend is the level to which this crisis rises?

The medical community has a variety of opinions regarding the best path to take in this crisis. There are even some mandates given that seem to contradict previous mandates. It is possible that this uncertainty is due to the fact that we are learning more about this disease everyday and that learning impacts the best practices handed down from our health professionals. But these changing practices can lead one to believe that something doesn’t quite smell right. Believe me, there is no pun intended here with one of the symptoms for COVID–19. There are also conspiracy theorists that tell a tale that appears credible with the seemingly contradictory guidance being given. What is a God-fearing follower of Christ to do in this situation of turmoil? Asking that question with the right heart is the best thing a person can do at any time in their life, but even more so in the midst of a worldwide health crisis.

Asking the question of what I should do, ought to motivate us to seek the Lord with all of our hearts and our minds! Our heart and our mind are the very essence of who we are, and a biblical understanding of heart and mind becomes more critical as a crisis in our life intensifies. When we cry out for meaning and clarity in a situation that seems out of control, it is our heart and our mind that help us return to a peaceful state. Anyone who has had a moment, or even an extended period of time, where anxiety rules thoughts and being, understands this very real need to return to a peaceful state in life.

So with our present situation playing out before us, what are we to do? What, or in whom are we to believe? How do we figure out what is the best for our own lives and the life of our family? The first thing to do is to take some deep breaths, and then spend some concerted time in God’s word, where you will find that God is in control! As you read in the Old Testament, the Psalms, or in the New Testament you will find that the world has weathered God many, many crises, and God has always been there! And not only has He walked with His people through each one, He uses these watershed moments to draw people to Himself.

As we read and meditate on Scripture, we then need to go to the Lord in prayer. He desires all people to come to Him and for His children to humbly approach Him in prayer. Not only does God understand that we do not know what to do next! He wants us to cry out to Him and then wait and see how He uses the things in our lives for our good and for His glory. These spiritual disciplines in our life will speak to both facets of our being that we talked about earlier, our heart and our mind.

What about learning, increasing our knowledge, asking critical questions? Yes this is a part of thinking through things that we need to be doing in challenging areas of our lives. We need to listen to those who are experts in their field and contemplate what they are telling us. But we must always compare man’s expertise with the foundation for our faith, God’s word. When you compare the new, modern, untested thought processes with the well-tested truth found in God’s word it is a little foolish that you question the Bible. I am not talking about having an honest academic wrestling match with passages in the Bible to understand what it is saying! Even the Apostle Peter had challenges understanding the Scriptures the Holy Spirit penned through Paul.

“There are some things in them (Paul’s writings) that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.” 
(2 Peter 3:16)

Like us, the Apostles had to academically wrestle with the Scriptures to fully understand what God intended for them to glean. But as they faithfully went through this process, they found hidden there the truths that God desired them to find. That truth is waiting to be revealed to us as we meditate on God’s word and listen to it being preached to us regularly.

Remember, it was Jesus who instructed His followers to use their hearts and minds when asked what is the greatest commandment.

“And He said to him, ‘you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.’” (Matthew 22:37)

It is pretty clear that Jesus was not indifferent when He stated the conduct expected from God’s people. He said it is the “greatest commandment.” How is your heart and mind right now? Where does your hope and trust for the future lie? If Jesus would ask you today how you are doing at living according to the ‘greatest commandment”, how would you answer Him?

As we ask these questions of ourselves, may we do it with an introspection that desires to live our lives in humble surrender to God. Consider the question of “what we should do next” as you read through a very well known passage from the Old Testament, Proverbs 3:5-6 .

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes: fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

May you treasure the wealth you have in the Lord. And may you proceed with Godly wisdom as you navigate the challenging days ahead.