Where is God in our time of need?

God knows the end from the beginning, and He has a plan. But He is waiting for us to turn to Him and ask Him what it is.

Where is God in our time of need?
The gold of a winter sunset is a reminder of God's goodness painted in the sky

It about us being humble enough to ask Him the question He is poised to answer

Isaiah 46:10 NLT
Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish.

Every day we hear on radio and TV from a kind of expert most of us didn’t know existed before we found ourselves in a pandemic. Infection modelling is what seems to have the most say in politicians’ attempts to reduce the transmission of the illness. There are many doctors and scientists -- intensive care and respiratory specialists, public health czars, virologists and immunologists -- who have important parts to play. So do sociologists who understand how people behave, and misbehave, and how to persuade them to do the simple things that make a difference.

But the loudest cry is to understand what will happen next, and what may be the result from different strategies which are proposed. The science is done by number crunching and computer modelling. But there is also a spiritual aspect to what is happening and what will happen next.

What does God say about this? Let us acknowledge that the wisdom of every boffin and every specialist committee comes from God. Some of them know that, and thank Him humbly for His grace in giving them what they need to work with. The ones who don’t, receive His wisdom anyway, and we do the thanking of God, because we know Him, and we know where the wisdom comes from.

And if we know God, we have real assurance from what He is saying. He always brings us back to His word recorded long ago. This endures as His reference for what He wants to say to us now.

“Only I can tell you the future...”
“Everything I plan will come to pass...”

I have faced a few difficult situations in my life. I have learned that we never understand them at the time, but the question to ask God is: “What are You teaching me through this?”

We don’t know much about where this pandemic arose or why -- we can be fairly sure that God did not send it. There is no sickness in heaven to send, and no injustice with which to share it out!

There are occasions in the Bible where He is said to have sent sickness or other affliction. We think of Israel that nation in the desert wandering years, and the plagues or venomous snakes that afflicted them. Always these are natural hazards which God USES to get His people’s attention -- and teach them something.

So what is God teaching us, in this hard lesson of an epidemic which is overwhelming even excellent hospital resources, putting people out of work and causing untimely deaths?

“Only I can tell you the future...”
“Everything I plan will come to pass...”

God has a plan, and what He really wants, is for us to ask Him what it is. That's the beginning of turning to Him, which is basically the appeal of all the prophets from Moses to Malachi.

He wants us to consider how things might play out differently if we follow His way. That  is not to dismiss all the professors and others who are meeting and debating their specialist insights. We just need all of us to recognise that true wisdom comes from God. And at that point, we are turning to Him.

What is God's plan? Those of us who have been praying for revival, for whom “Thy kingdom come” IS the prayer, not just words to recite, can see something of the end from the beginning. If the Bible is about who God is, and His plan for salvation, we can say that wherever this is going, it is heading in that direction.

God has a purpose. Our intransigence can delay it, but He will find the way to “do all that He pleases”. However, He rather not do it TO us but  do it WITH us. First He needs to get our attention. This is God who is gracious and generous and forgiving, asking us to to stop for a moment and look to Him. A time of national difficulty, hard as it is, may be what's needed to get us to ask what He is teaching us.

Then we can start to share it with others, and keep praying for God's kingdom to come.

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