“It does not yet appear what we shall be.”
1 John 3:2
As our whole world walks through an unprecedented experience . . . a global plague, we have been shaken. It is as if God has pressed a “Pause Button” on life as it was. Nations, cities, communities, and families have been forced to consider the present and the future, knowing that something has changed “life” as it has been.
We don’t know how the future will look. We don’t know how life will look. For people who have chosen to follow God, this is nothing new. The Bible is filled with the stories of individuals, families, and nations who experienced Divine Disruptions to Life as they had known it.
John wrote out of his first-hand experiences as one of Jesus’ twelve closest followers. He was an eye-witness to Jesus’ time on earth, and fully qualified to write of it. He had seen it all, went through the extreme highs and lows of following Jesus on earth, and then carried his experiences through decades after Jesus returned to Heaven.
John’s life ended as a very old man on an island. Not on a retirement vacation…but in forced exile. He would have deeply understood “social distancing” and being in “quarantine,” but not for his benefit nor the benefit of others, nor for a temporary period of time. He would die there.
Yet, from that place of isolation, he wrote, “See how very much our heavenly Father loves us, for He allows us to be called His children, and we really are!” and “This is the message we have heard from the beginning: We should love one another.” I John 3:1, 11 And much, much more.
May we use this Time to let go of our “normal,” and let God draw us close. May we listen to His Words of Love to us and through us…as did John.
When my world “blew up” a few years ago, I experienced major losses… the man I dearly loved was gone, the home we had shared, as well as the work we had birthed and raised together for 35 years. I have tasted a bit of what John may have faced (no imprisonment nor forced exile here!). But the dramatic sense of “being alone” has brought up thoughts and emotions I had never experienced before.
My setting includes a shoreline of water, and an extremely quiet living quarters. I think that I can relate much more personally to John now, as years worth of stories, memories, and lessons have the space and time to come to my mind. I have the quietness to “listen” more, contemplate more, study and write more. Life has become much more simple and basic.
“Pause Button-pushing” is often not invited nor wanted in our world. But when God allows it – especially on a global level, it is extremely likely that His has “pushed it” out of Love, and out of His desire to have our full attention.
May the people of His Heart, especially, not waste the opportunity He has given us to look into His Face, His Eyes, and draw closer to His Heart.