Proverbs 12 5-12-20

Today, I will share things I learned from the COVID19 Quarantine. I begin with this verse:

20 Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil, but those who promote peace have joy.

I temper this verse with the next one:

21 No harm overtakes the righteous, but the wicked have their fill of trouble. Rephrased: The righteous do not worry about the harmful effects of COVID19 because God is in charge of our lives, but the wicked have no such security and see danger everywhere.

I am not saying that we are to be cavalier about the illness. It’s the difference between a healthy fear and an irrational one.

This next verse makes me tremble:

23 The prudent keep their knowledge [opinion] to themselves, but a fool’s heart blurts out folly.

I have great suspicion concerning the origination of COVID19; I also question the direction taken for curbing it. Those I will keep to myself (prudence). What I will say is what God has revealed to me about me and about the church.

  • I have a rebel’s heart. I hate being told what I can do and what I can’t do, like have physical contact. I resist being told what to do, like wear a mask. I chafe at restrictions.
  • I am not afraid for my own life as much as I am at being a carrier and infecting someone else.
  • My life didn’t slow down; it just got rearranged–especially at work!
  • Regardless of its origin, this pandemic showed me how quickly we can be shut down as a nation and as a church.
  • I believe that Satan will use this tool again. Those in power got a good taste of what they can do. We will be ready for the next one.
  • I have come to see “the assembling of ourselves together” as a privilege rather than a duty. I have also come to see it as vital. We need each other. Physically.
  • It has revealed those who hunger and thirst after righteousness and those who merely attend church as just another part of their lives. It will be interesting–and sad– to see who comes back and who simply drifts away.

As we get back together over these next few weeks, may we seek the Lord’s timing for each of us and not hold each other in contempt for either coming back so quickly or for sequestering longer than most. God is happy with you even when it’s just Him and you. He knows, though, that we need encouragement and interaction in order for us to be emotionally happy and healthy. He created us social creatures.

Some of you introverts are questioning that statement right now, aren’t you? Consider what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:19 that each of us is the temple of the Holy Spirit. But he had also said in 3:16 that we as a group “are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in our midst.” We are made to be together. Let’s pray for each other that our joy may be complete as we worship together again.

Abba, help me to learn as much as I can during this trying time. May it make me a better minister. Give me compassion, focus, and vision as we move into a post-Covid19 world. I know I need to be more intentional about my flock, LORD. Give me new strategies for keeping up with them and encouraging my readers to seek You daily. Amen.

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