It is a few days to our wedding and marriage. But Covid-19 is here. Coronavirus has been a stopper to many things for some weeks now, especially with the lockdown. Jobs, businesses, travels and so on.
We still hope to get married and open to whichever way that will happen. However, the government offices that offer certification of marriages have suspended fresh registration of marriages until further notice. Coronavirus cases are increasing daily. The government and some health workers project that this will continue to go up in the next few months even as measures are taken to control the spread of this deadly virus.
We don’t know what will happen in the next few weeks or even months. It is a confusing, disruptive and destabilizing season to say the least, the new normal. We sure do not know what the future holds. There is so much uncertainty in most people’s lives. My friend was recently fired and most of us have to do with pay cuts. What possibly could be the solution?
God is the Answer
I believe that God is the solution and our hope now and in days to come whether in life or in death. He is the only sure Rock that we can keep holding on to. When we do not know what tomorrow will look like, He knows it all too well. And he’s not indifferent to all that we are going through in our various and unique situations. He is with us. We know this because he has promised:
‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ He is working everything for our good. We may not see or know what good he is working but we know he is. ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose’ Romans 8:28.
What a time to keep these truths dear and close to us and to fight to believe them. Not just for head knowledge but to keep them in our hearts and live each day trusting and obeying.
God Works Everything for our own Good
But how is He a solution to my long-awaited wedding and marriage that seems to be thrown away in the face of Covid-19?
We clearly do not know how God will work it out. No particular place has He mentioned how he does it. It is an unscripted event. But one thing is certain, He works it all for our own good. Our wedding stopping might look like a big thing to us but in the grand eternal scheme of God, His plan is even better for us. He has our best interest at heart. Sometimes I stop to think, “Do I trust that God is for me and not against me? That he is not sitting in heaven planning for me not to get married or for evil but for all my good?” And yet this good doesn’t mean that I’ll have all in this world but His sure eternal purposes.
Remember God’s Mighty deeds and Acts of Deliverance
Complaining and grumbling is a sign of an ungrateful and a distrusting heart.
‘Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness, where your ancestors tested me; they tried me, though they had seen what I did. For forty years I was angry with that generation; I said, “they are people whose hearts go astray, and they have not known my ways.” So I declared on oath in my anger, “They shall never enter my rest.”’ Psalm 95:8-11
The Israelites had been saved through God’s mighty deeds in miracles and he had promised to take them to the Promised Land. They had seen the Red Sea part and become hard ground that they walked on. They had been led by a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. They witnessed water gushing out from a Rock. They had seen bread in form of manna rain from heaven. Just to mention but a few. And yet “they did not consider your wondrous works; they did not remember the abundance of your steadfast love, but rebelled…” and “Then they despised the pleasant land, having no faith in his promise” Psalm 106:7, 24.
Isn’t my heart just like them? Think about it. God has brought us this far. He has provided for us. He has even saved us by such a great salvation and promised a place far better than this world full of suffering. But what happens when calamity strikes? We fear and worry and get anxious not really believing that God is really God and that He is good or we imagine that He has somehow forgotten us. We shudder because we are ‘no longer in control’. May the Lord have mercy on us. May He so much help our unbelief.
Learning from the Psalmists has been very helpful. These men knew their God and were confident in him. They knew that he is Sovereign over all. And that he is good. Even when things were going south, they praised, lamented, cried and rejoiced in him. Most Psalms will end with a firm proclamation that God is in control. Paul in Philippians 4 calls us to rejoice in the Lord always. Remember Paul writes this while in prison. May we see the goodness of the Lord even in hard times.
Losing our Entitlement
When we know and understand God’s grace and mercy and love to save a sinful people like us, our hearts then overflow with thankfulness. Especially when our sinfulness is rightly before us and how deserving of wrath and judgment from God we are. Only then, shall we know that God doesn’t owe us anything. Not a wedding or marriage, not this breath of life, not a job, nothing. He does not owe us anything yet he graciously gives us all we don’t deserve on account of Jesus. In his wisdom, he gives or takes them to help us recognize that he is and should be our all-satisfying treasure and delight. Everything fades in light of having Jesus.
It is distressing and painful to go through suffering. But God calls us to look to him in those times and to bring our laments to him. Instead of murmuring, grumbling or even throwing our hands at God, we can come to him. He knows, he cares and he loves us. He is working through our sufferings to strengthen our faith and dependence in him and he is working for our good. It is a daily battle to keep believing these truths and not let the deception of Satan that God is a sadist get into our hearts.
God has the Final Answer to the final wedding
God will either save us from this crisis or not. There are several projections to what could happen. One, the world could end and all our plans stop; death can come knocking from many other sources (think about the over 300 dead because of floods) or even better a vaccine or cure could be discovered and life goes back to normal. We could have our normal wedding or one with a few guests or not at all. We don’t know. But one thing is sure. One wedding is sure. The Grand Wedding of the Lamb. It will not in any way be affected or stopped by a virus, a curfew or a lock-down. It will surely come to pass at an hour or time we do not know. That’s the wedding we ought to be ultimately focused on. Our presence there is eternal bliss and our absence is eternal damnation.
Whichever way it goes, there will be a wedding at last. Isn’t that amazing? Either we will do our wedding as planned or we will be among the number in the final wedding of our all loving groom – Jesus Christ. If God wills, I can have both. But I will hold on to the last.
Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints). Then the angel said to me, ‘write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’ And he added, ‘These are the true words of God.’ Revelation 19:6-8.
I pray that our eyes will always be fixed on eternity and that we shall be a well-prepared Bride for our Bridegroom and that in all situations we would like Job say, “Blessed be the name of the Lord”. For He is God our Father, the only certain one in uncertain times for he does not change like shifting shadows.
Article by Rahab Muchunu. Rahab works with iServe Africa as the Communications officer.