These are uncertain times for sure… Never in my memory has there been as much fear and worry as I see today. Surely there have been deadly plagues and long senseless wars and heartless terrorism and natural disasters and mass murders in our world’s history that I was not around for. Some I’ve seen. Just heathcare-wise HIV/AIDS has killed over 36 million people since 1981. The Hong Kong Flu in 1968 killed more than 15% of their population. WHO reports over 2 million deaths from the Asian Flu in the 50’s. In 1918 a flu pandemic killed between 20-50 million people. The Black Plague in the 1300s killed between 75 and 200 million people and there’s many more. World War II estimates deaths of 60-118 million people and World War I up to 40 million. Another 4 million died in Chinese floods in 1931. The Haiti Earthquake 10 years ago killed 316.000 while the Thailand tsunami a few years earlier had 227,000 deaths over several minutes. I was a child during the “Gas Crisis” in 1973 and sat for hours with my mother waiting to fill her tank because Americans were panicked and dependant on foreign resources. Around that same time, a nucluar war with Russia seemed imminent. Scary times for a confused youngster. In contrast, the Covid-19 flu has had 700,000 cases through today with 30,000 worldwide deaths. These events have brought improvements to healthcare and technology has significantly increased to limit death tolls in all these situations, but despite our best human efforts, these events will continue until the end of time.
Tony entitled his message today “Trials Bring Change” and further stated that the greater the trial, the greater the change. In Exodus 2, Moses goes from being a prince in a palace to wandering alone in the desert. What a contrast and perhaps very similar to our lives currently. In chapter 3, he finds himself tending a flock of sheep. God speaks to Moses from a burning bush and gives him the plan to rescue his people. God has “seen” and “heard” the Israelites suffering and cries for help. This suffering went on for years, yet we expect God to rescue us after a few weeks of social distancing and rationing toilet paper. Moses asks “who am I?” that God would use him so powerfully. God responds with “I am with you”! That is really all we need, to overcome any trial. As long as he’s with us, what can’t we do. Jesus says in Matt 11:28 “come to me, all who are weary… and I’ll give you rest”. Isn’t that what all of us are looking for right now.
I think the most important thing we can remember, is that no matter what happens in this life, God never changes. He was there during those events in Exodus, and eventually rescues his people. God was there during the dark times of plagues and wars, and natural disasters too, and eventually their lives improved, though at the time, things seemed hopeless. No doubt all of us are suffering to some degree. None of us should exit this Corona situation the same. Hopefully we’ll love deeper, appreciate our blessings more, and not take for granted the mist of life we’re granted. Maybe that’s what God wanted all along.