If … then …

‘If my people who are called by My Name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and heal their land.’ 
(2 Chronicles 7:14)

COVID-19 has spread all over the world and many are gripped by fear. People may ask, “If God is a God of love, why do these things happen?”

I write as we are edging out of our third lockdown and signs of Spring are appearing.
Anne Graham, daughter of Billy Graham, was asked by a reporter soon after the 9/11 terrorist attacks happened, “I’ve heard people say, ‘If God is good, how could God let this happen?’ What do you say?”

Anne replied, “I say that God is also angry when He sees something like this. I would also say that for several years now, people in a sense have shaken their fists at God and said, ‘God we want you out of our schools, our government, our businesses. We want you out of our marketplace.’ And God, who is a gentleman, has just quietly backed out of our national and political life, our public life. Therefore He has removed His hand of blessing and protection …

… We need to turn to God first of all and say, ‘God we are sorry we have treated You this way and we invite You to come into our national life. We put our trust in You.”

I believe these sentiments can also be echoed here in Britain.

Many folk are fearful. Fear does not stop death. It stops life. And worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles. It takes away today’s peace.

Someone once asked Billy Graham, “If Christianity is valid, why is there so much evil in the world?” His response was, “With so much soap, why are there so many dirty people in the world? Christianity, like soap, must be personally applied if it is to make a difference in our lives.”

People are all wondering when we’ll get back to normal. I am enjoying not hearing so much traffic and being able to hear bird song. I am enjoying the care and consideration so many people seem to be having for one another. I am taking satisfaction in doing some of the things that have needed to be done for a long time. Most of all, I am enjoying some extra time delving into God’s Word. I hope that we never get back to normal. Normal never was.

Our pre-coronavirus existence was not normal, other than we had created greed, unfairness, exhaustion, depletion, origins, disconnection, confusion, anger, hoarding, hate and lack. We should not long to return to that.

Be thoughtful. Be kind. We are being given the opportunity to stitch a new garment, one that fits all of humanity and nature.

I thought again about the word ‘sorry’. We say it very lightly, and in all probability we would quite likely do that same thing again.

Yet ‘repent’ is different. It means to turn away from. We are saying, “I will never do that again”.
Reading that verse from 2 Chronicles again, can we truly bow the knee and repent on behalf of our nation for the wicked ways and thoughts of its people? Or do we just shrug our shoulders as we believe they brought it on themselves?

Perhaps God is waiting to move until we act on behalf of those who don’t know Jesus.

Diana Moss