“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, whohave been called according to His purpose.”Romans 8:28/NIV
During the COVID-19 pandemic, I have known people who have died because of this illness. People I grew up with had memories of and personal impact of their personalities upon my life! Likewise, while serving as a hospital chaplain, I have met people who passed away from COVID-19 while I huddled with tearful family members at the bedside. These departed souls I have referenced had one critically important common thread: they knew Jesus Christ as their Lord and personal Savior! Upon their passing, I reflect upon the Bible verse that is reassuring for me regarding their departure: “absent from the body means present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). Good news following their departure!
The way we think is not always consistent with the way God thinks. How can Romans 8:28 apply to the COVID nightmare? That is a Bible verse I have had different views about throughout the years. The first part of the verse indicates all things working for the “good.” In the past, while younger in my Christian walk, my first thought would be: “everything will be all right.” That would not be the case from a humanistic perspective, and the worst-case scenario would be the outcome. Hope for the best; prepare for the worst? The older I have become, my perspective about “in all things God works for the good” has changed a bit. God’s consideration of “good” may be different than mine. Let’s explore further!
In consideration of COVID, during the first two years of this dreadful illness, I was able to mask up, wash my hands, social distance, vaccinate and practice safety measures to avoid this illness and was successful. However, while working very hard to manage expectations in my life, physical exhaustion crept in, and I became vulnerable and acquired COVID-19. My first thought was: “oh no, how can I get everything done?” Well, I couldn’t and had to quarantine. Sharing my concerns with a godly soul, they responded: “sometimes we just need to be still; this can be a time of reflection for you; we need to slow down at times.” God speaks to me in many ways through many different people, which was certainly one of those moments. Wow! Tears came to my eyes when I read these thoughts!
Personal reflection: “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” As an optimist, who looks for the good in any situation, I can see the good with my COVID demise. As I love God while seeking to be compliant with His will and purpose for me, no matter what, I know all things will work for the good – even if it means me becoming ill with COVID! I needed this time “to be still, reflect and to slow down.” Thank you, God, that you allowed me to have COVID! I needed this time of reflection and to be still! For me, becoming ill with COVID was a Romans 8:28 moment.
Let’s also consider 2 Corinthians 12:9: “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” Your grace is sufficient for me – your power is made perfect in my weakness! Amen!
Many blessings to you!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
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