I’m sure I am asked at least once every day, “do you think we’ll ever get back to normal?” The assumption is that before the Covid virus changed the world, life was “normal.” When Daniel was snatched away by the King and forced into training for his service, he faced a very different “normal.” His future was uncertain. His reaction was to take a quiet stand for his beliefs as we saw in Daniel 1 and God honored his desire to be obedient to him.
We tend to focus on the temporary things of the moment. God’s sovereignty extends beyond the immediate story to take in all of history. In Daniel 2 on the human level Daniel is set against the Babylonian magicians who fail to interpret the king’s dream, but the cosmic conflict is between the God of Israel and the false Babylonian gods. Paul reminds us of this in 2 Corinthians 4:18: “Things that are seen don’t last forever, but things that are not seen are eternal. That’s why we keep our minds on the things that cannot be seen.” (CEV).
Our problems won’t last forever. The coronavirus pandemic won’t last forever. Uncertainty with the economy won’t last forever. The fires won’t last forever. Our eternal normal hasn’t changed! Our hope for the future hasn’t changed. God’s character hasn’t changed. That doesn’t mean that we have to be happy all the time putting on our happy Christian mask, as if nothing swirling around us has any affect on us. God wants us to pour out to him our frustrations, concerns, and even our anger with things that are confusing and seemingly out of control in our world. We know the One who is ultimately in control. Once we lay it all at the feet of Jesus, and confess anything hindering our relationship with him, our peace and joy should be evident. We shouldn’t look like other people we see looking haggard and hopeless–because of covid, politics, or whatever the latest loop is running in the media. Wringing of hands, grinding of teeth, yelling, responding in anger isn’t what the Lord wants us to do today or any other day, when what he offers is comfort, assurance and a peace that passes all human understanding.
I’ve seen those forever changed by the death of a loved one, a serious illness or accident bringing glory to God by professing that he is with them in every adversity and can cause good to come out of it. They share their faith and impact or encourage others. So, when everything looks negative around us how can we focus on the eternal rather than temporal matters? How can we encourage someone today? Practically, maybe we can turn off the news, social media etc. and spend that time in God’s word and prayer.
Father, please help us keep our eternal focus and our eyes on you. Amen
Executive Administrative Assistant