I woke up this morning with so many questions...probably because I have the all-too-familiar disorder called “information overload.” If you’re like me, you’ve been bombarded with statistics lately on the worldwide virus out to get us. And my heart races with the sheer volume.
And all that data, all the commentators, the government decrees, and the self-defined experts in medicine still cannot answer those questions that arise inside my half-awake brain.
What is this sickness, really? What does it look like for me if I get it? What if I get it? What will happen to the economy? Will we have jobs left? What about my family? What does the future hold? Will I actually get a pack of TP when we do run out!
Why am I not trusting You, Lord, more?
As soon as that last question came into my head, I realized I already was sick...sick with worry, sick with fear...but not with a persistent sickness, but a periodic one...one that enters my body from time to time when my thoughts are dwelling elsewhere. I’ve let the flow of information control my mind rather than the fact that God is in control.
In my periodic sickness, I then turned to these words. “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:31-32 NIV)
Of course! The Master Physician came for people with my condition, too! I admit, Lord, I need a doctor right now. I see that my 20/20 vision has been clouded. I have missed the most important part of this pandemic: You are still present! And so I acknowledge the trust I’ve placed in the information and not in You alone.
This Easter season, I’m reminded of another sick man in Scripture – the second criminal crucified next to Jesus. He realized the sickness of his sin. He was a sinner in need of the majestic grace found in the Suffering Servant who will always be King.
To the defiant slurs of the other criminal hanging next to them, this sick man realized the truth. He was being punished justly for his crimes, but Jesus didn’t deserve this same sentence at all. Turning to Jesus in repentance, he in great openness of heart said: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And the greatest promised that Jesus gives to all who are sick and in need of His healing touch: “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:40-43 NIV)
Through all the uncertainty of this life, I can clearly see the Lord’s guarantee to sick people like me when we place our trust in Him! And that truth this morning humbles me and renews me. How about for you?
Do you think you are beyond reach of His love and grace in this very moment? That criminal experienced, in his dire sickness, a complete healing!
What stops you from delighting in the promise of Jesus? This present pandemic? What would it look like to live in the light of your assured place in paradise right now? Will you?