I have been noticing that many bloggers are writing about how their perspective has changed during this pandemic. I started a post on that topic in July, and then put it in the trash. How do you encapsulate all that the last two years has cultivated in your heart? I’ve been thinking about how perspective (a mental view or outlook) is so intrinsic to attitude (one’s position toward something), and then I realize that what has really changed is me. My position. In relation to God.
The Covid Pandemic has been a crisis for most people, no matter where they live on the globe. A lot times we see a crisis as a stressful circumstance; but is much more than that. Webster defines a crisis as “a turning point, for better or worse” and “a decisive moment.” Wright (2011) explains a crisis as a point where something “can possibly move toward growth, enrichment and improvement; or it can move toward dissatisfaction, pain and, in some cases, dissolution.”1
When Paul encountered Christ on the road to Damascus, it was a crisis moment. He became physically blind. He realized that those he had been arresting and persecuting were innocent. The Christ he had hated was, in fact, the true God. What a devastating realization. He could have taken it like Judas, who betrayed Jesus and then took his own life. Instead, Paul was radically transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit because he chose to repent and surrender his life to Christ. He became one of the greatest evangelists the world has ever known because, in his moment of crisis, he moved toward God and His goals instead of away from Him (Acts 9, ESV).
I realize through experience that life is more unpredictable than I once believed. Circumstances can change quickly. People are not always dependable. Disappointments come. Grief is normal. My attitude toward circumstances, people, disappointments and grief is completely dependent upon my view of God. Tozer said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.“2 A crisis has a way of bringing our views under the microscope. A low view gives people little to cling to. A spiritually poor vantage point leads to fear and negativity. I have been saddened by the despair I have seen during the past two years, even in those who used to look like they had it all together. An awesome view of God provides footing to weather any storm. This spiritually rich vantage point highlights our hope in any circumstance; especially in difficulty, when we most need encouragement.
During this crisis, I have learned to appreciate the meaning of “more.” Somehow, fasting from anything moves us into God’s strategy room. We stop focusing on “the things” and looking to “the One.” While the pandemic has brought mandates and shortages that have limited our previous habits, I’ve been learning to have a greater view of and appreciation for: freedoms, loving those God has put in my life, praying for others and God’s will for them, taking time to wait before acting (asking God first and listening for an answer), being thankful, giving generously, enjoying the moments, holding others, taking positive risks, and so much more. Wrapped into all of this is the lesson of sacrifice. Isn’t that the way we gain a greater view of God?
More than ever, I believe that God is unchanging, dependable, the source of my joy, and completely sufficient for me. I don’t want to focus on the pandemic and the news and miss what the crisis is meant to magnify. Like Paul, I want to choose to move closer to God. I want to live life with an awesome view of the One who is greater than any trouble we will encounter in this world. I have experienced His goodness. The more I know Him, the more I want to know Him. I want to live every day from that banquet table. Don’t you?
This song says it so eloquently.
1 Wright, H. Norman D. The Complete Guide to Crisis & Trauma Counseling. Available from: MBS Direct, Baker Publishing Group, 2011.
2 Tozer, A.W. The Knowledge of the Holy. Available from: Digital Fire, 2019.
Photos curtesy of Pixabay.