It’s Passover weekend.
Lately, my husband and I have done communion more than ever.
Lately, my thoughts have been on the blood of Jesus’ more than ever.
Yet, my faith has been tested in more and more ways.
There’s been times when I’ve thought, “I’ll post that scripture on Instagram and Facebook.” But then I read that scripture a few more times, and I think, that scripture is too bold.
Never have I thought such a thing. Never have I thought Scripture TOO bold. This one for example. A chapter I have clung to for years.
As for you, the one who lives in the shelter of the Most High,
and resides in the protective shadow of the Sovereign One—I say this about the Lord, my shelter and my stronghold, my God in whom I trust—he will certainly rescue you from the snare of the hunter and from the destructive plague.
Psalm 91:1-3 NET
I’m just being honest. I’ve spent a lot of time listening and reading the news.
But then I remembered Smith Wigglesworth, a British healing evangelist who went to be with the Lord many years ago now. He wouldn’t even allow a newspaper in his house. He spent a whole lot of time in prayer and reading his Bible. In fact, he never read anything but the Bible, having learned to read later in life. He would not allow doubt near him.
I have been doubting. In the face of COVID-19 news and fear, I have doubted. I thought I was doing all right. Until I went to the grocery store Tuesday for the first time in weeks. I was so anxious. I couldn’t stay far enough away from people.
And then I thought of John G. Lake, an evangelist who prayed for people as the bubonic plague was taking lives. But he was unaffected. Under a microscope the plague died on his hands.
Then there was Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. You know, the guys from the book of Daniel who were thrown into a fiery furnace when they wouldn’t bow to the statue. King Nebuchadnezzar was so angry when they refused his orders, yet this was their reply:
If our God whom we are serving exists, he is able to rescue us from the furnace of blazing fire, and he will rescue us, O king, from your power as well. But if he does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we don’t serve your gods, and we will not pay homage to the golden statue that you have erected.”
Daniel 3:17,18 NET
Now hold up, time for some backstory.
About ten or so years ago, I was in my early twenties, and I did a lot of missions trips, working for our church as the missions coordinator. I had to take a few trips on my own to Guatemala, staying with families, bed and breakfasts, and alone in what was to be a future Children’s home with only a staff member and his wife in the home. There were times when I was afraid. Yet, I had boldness and courage that could only come from God.
I remember thinking of this passage from Daniel chapter 3. I believed God would protect me. But even if He didn’t, I would still serve Him. I would still do my job.
This Passover, we are all either at home, or, the essential workers, are facing this thing head on. For those of us spending it at home alone or with our immediate family, it really is like the very first Passover from Exodus 12. They, too, were in their homes.
Believers, our faith is being tested.
My thoughts and prayers are with those of you reading this who have lost someone recently. I don’t know anyone personally who has been confirmed to have COVID-19, but I know a few who have been suspected (mild cases) to have it and just went into isolation. I do not belittle this time we are in. But now more than ever we must cling to the Word of God.
Just like those times when I was in Guatemala, stirring up my faith as a young twenty-something girl traveling alone in Guatemala (and I made some great friends I now consider like family), I choose to believe that God’s Word is true. Now more than ever. His Word is either true, alive, indestructible. Or it isn’t. And I have seen and experienced so much of God’s goodness. Probably just the tip of it, but more than enough to say that His Word is 100% true.
I have had to pull away from the news a fair bit. I watch some, for sure. But God’s Word is greater and more powerful than COVID-19. And His Word is so much bigger than fear.
This Passover, God’s presence will reign in our home. Not fear. We will not bow to fear.
I hope this is an encouragement to somebody. To stir up your faith.
And if you’re reading this and you have COVID-19 … read the Bible. Get worship on. Get prayer. Stir up your faith.
If you have lost someone to COVID-19, I am so sorry. There are no words I can say to make that better. But I do know that the Lord is near to the brokenhearted. His word says so, and I pray that you feel His peace and comfort right now, wherever you are.
This is a very different post than I pictured myself writing for Passover a month ago.
I’ll leave a worship song for you at the bottom of this post, something that has been such a blessing to us in this season. Be encouraged. God is on the throne, and He is moving. When fear tries to take hold of you, take hold of God’s Word. It’s the same today, yesterday and forever.
If God can kill the plague on John G. Lake’s hands, He can do it again. If Smith Wigglesworth had to take great lengths to guard against doubt, maybe we should, too. And, in case you aren’t familiar with Daniel 3—those three guys, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? They didn’t burn. They were thrown into the furnace, and the furnace was so hot that the guards who threw them in perished. But God saved Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. And He can do it again.
Then King Nebuchadnezzar was startled and quickly got up. He said to his ministers, “Wasn’t it three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?” They replied to the king, “For sure, O king.” He answered, “But I see four men, untied and walking around in the midst of the fire! No harm has come to them! And the appearance of the fourth is like that of a god!” Then Nebuchadnezzar approached the door of the furnace of blazing fire. He called out, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the most high God, come out! Come here!”
Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego emerged from the fire. Once the satraps, prefects, governors, and ministers of the king had gathered around, they saw that those men were physically unharmed by the fire. The hair of their heads was not singed, nor were their trousers damaged. Not even the smell of fire was to be found on them!
Daniel 3:24-27 NET