**a little disclaimer: this is my personal experience. I realize it is not everyone’s. It is my story and I share it to encourage. Not to debate any of the issues. Simply to share my own experience.
It took me hours to write this post. It started in my mind but I was too weak to type. And then when I would start to type I had to take many breaks. My mind wasn’t as sharp as usual and my body was not cooperating.
I have been in bed with Covid for the past two days.
The one thing that has been in the back of my mind at times and other times in the front of my mind for the past 20 months, finally became reality. And all the fear and worry that was so evident everywhere these past months, was now in my very body. The thing that ruled so much of the world, was now trying to rule me.
And all I can think of is, YES. God is good. Yes. He is so good.
As I was spending some time preparing for our study this month on biblical thankfulness in the Simply Living for Him Online Women’s Community, I came across something that really caught my attention.
So much of our gratitude is tied to our circumstances. Yet, what does that say about God? Do we only praise Him for what we get? How incredibly earthly and selfish. He is God. We thank Him always.
“give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV
God tells us to be thankful in all circumstances. He doesn’t say we have to be thankful for evil or for the circumstances themselves, but it does say in them. And as I pondered that, I realized it is because God is a good God, and anything He allows, we can trust will end for good. And He wants us to grow closer to Him, to know Him more, and to glorify in all.
I always think of Corrie ten Boom, who endured the concentration camps and saw this very thing in action. She and her sister Betsy thanked God, even for the fleas infesting their bunks. Later she and her sister realized those very fleas were what stopped the guards from coming into their sleeping area at night. Hence, she and Betsy led Bible studies there. Shared the Gospel there. Souls were saved there. All because of the fleas. And Betsy ultimately ended up dying there. Because the days God ordained for her were up. Not because God isn’t good. But because Betsy’s purpose had been fulfilled. And Corrie even forgave the guard who had been responsible for so much pain.
Yes, give thanks in all circumstances. God is working in all things. He is a good God. He can’t be stopped.
One thing I have realized through this, even before I had Covid, was that the endgame of my life isn’t to stay alive. It is to glorify God. He knows exactly how much time I have on earth, so I need not fret over how many days are left, but what I am doing with my days. And frankly, once I die, I will be with Jesus, so really, there is nothing to fear!
When you have covid it makes you think- death really could be a possibility sooner rather than later. Not that I really thought I was anywhere near death during this. But, of course, there is always a slight possibility. But then again, that is the case every day that we wake up on earth. I can drive down the road and get killed. The chances of that are actually probably higher than death by covid for me. Or, I can contract any number of diseases. Or cancer. Or anything. So really, I should have been living with the perspective all along. But I certainly intend to now.
Back to 1 Thessalonians…
I know you are thinking, but Karen you don’t know my circumstances. And you’re right. I don’t. But God does. Everyone’s life has a story of suffering. And I also want you to know that I have seen some pretty dire circumstances in my life. Things I don’t write about. Trauma unhealed. The stuff that haunts me. Yet, when I look at all of it, I still see God in it. Every single moment of my life, from the traumatic and painful, to the jubilant and triumphant, has been allowed by God. And each moment had a purpose. Honestly, if some of the worst things didn’t happen to me, I may not have been led to know Jesus. So every moment was worth it. I don’t thank Him for the trauma, but for working in it.
God is a good God, therefore we must trust that a good God will use all things for our good. Trials can be tests. Adversity can bring us to our knees. In our worst, we find hope– in Him.
In our weakness, we find He is our strength. He wants us to come closer to Him.
So as I sit in my bed, with all the time in the world to think. I can see God working things for good.
I had opportunities to have conversations with loved ones that may not have happened otherwise. (That was worth it alone!) I have been given a huge amount of time to sit and be still after a very busy time. I have been given the gift of perspective. The kind you don’t get unless you truly live through it. I also think God wants me to let go of some idols. And simply trust Him in all things (remember 1 Thessalonians!)
I don’t have to sulk or wallow or ask why. I don’t need to know why. Because God does. And I have to trust Him. Thank Him. And see the light in the dark. He is here with me now as He has always been.
And one more thing I realized as I typed. Many may click on this because of the title. And just as God used those fleas in Corrie ten Boom’s story, I pray that any eyes who fall upon this post will hear the Gospel. All because I had Covid and wrote it out. Now that would be the ultimate purpose. If just one soul heard the Truth! So here it goes…
God loves you and has a plan for you!
The Bible says, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, [Jesus Christ], that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” — a complete life full of purpose (John 10:10).
Here’s the problem: people are sinful and separated from God.
We have all done, thought or said bad things, which the Bible calls “sin.” The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
The result of sin is death, spiritual separation from God (Romans 6:23).
The good news?
God sent His Son to die for your sins!
Jesus died in our place so we could have a relationship with God and be with Him forever.
“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
But it didn’t end with His death on the cross. He rose again and still lives!
“Christ died for our sins. … He was buried. … He was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
Jesus is the only way to God. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6).
Would you like to receive God’s forgiveness?
We can’t earn salvation; we are saved by God’s grace when we have faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. All you have to do is believe you are a sinner, that Christ died for your sins, and ask His forgiveness. Then turn from your sins—that’s called repentance. Jesus Christ knows you and loves you. What matters to Him is the attitude of your heart, your honesty.