As I survey my own response to COVID, I am a bit disappointed in myself. Though I have done some things right, like extra yardwork and more Bible reading, I must admit I have also struggled in some ways. I am the type of person who likes to get up early and hit the ground running, but lately, I have been pushing the snooze button more often than not. And sometimes, I even turn the alarm off all together. What is happening to me!? I read an article by Scott Hubbard called After the Virus Has Passed. Below is an excerpt.
As two hundred thousand people pass into eternity, and two hundred thousand families feel the sting of loved ones lost, Moses’s uncomfortable prayer presses itself upon us: “Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).
Teach us, O God, to see in these two hundred thousand deaths a foreshadow of our own. Teach us to feel that our lives, however long, are “like a dream, like grass that . . . fades and withers” (Psalm 90:5-6). And do it so that we may get a heart of wisdom. So that we may give ourselves, while the vapor of life still lingers, to the only work that will enter eternity.
On the other side of the coronavirus, the wisest people will not be those who have diversified their financial portfolios, nor those who have stocked up on masks and toilet paper in preparation for a potential second wave, but those who have learned to say from the heart, “Only one life, ’twill soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.”
Establish the Work of Our Hands
As creatures who have eternity in our hearts (Eccl. 3:11), we are slow to learn the lesson that life is a vapor. Life in the moment feels sturdy and secure, and we often act as if it might go on forever. And so we rarely see the work of our lives in the bracing light of life’s brevity.
But calamities bring death close. The previous months have sharpened the words of Psalm 90 into unpleasant focus: “You return man to dust and say, ‘Return, O children of man!’ . . . You sweep them away as with a flood. . . . For all our days pass away under your wrath; we bring our years to an end like a sigh” (Psalm 90:3,5,9). After more than 50,000 deaths in America alone (and in just over one month), C.S. Lewis’s words about World War II hold true today:
The war creates no absolutely new situation; it simply aggravates the permanent human situation so that we can no longer ignore it. Human life has always been lived on the edge of a precipice. (“Learning in War Time,” 49)
We have always lived on the edge of a precipice ready to crumble beneath our feet. The destruction caused by the coronavirus is merely a preview of what will one day happen to us and all we hold dear. Nations and economies, health and relationships will succumb eventually to the ravages of time. Moth and rust will destroy the treasure we thought secure. Life itself, which sprouts green in the morning, will wilt by evening.
No wonder Moses ends his reflections on death with a desperate prayer: “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands; yes, establish the work of our hands!” (Psalm 90:17). Only God can take this dying seed called life and make it bear fruit that lasts for eternity.
You can read this entire article at: https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/after-the-virus-has-passed
I just spoke to someone yesterday about how much more important it is TO BELIEVE IN GOD than it is TO DO FOR GOD. Which is true as we consider Jesus’ words when asked,
“What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6:28-29)
BELIEVING IN GOD IS OUR GREATEST WORK!
Hubbard goes on to point out that “Outside of the Lord, our most impressive labors are grand nothings.” Isaiah 64 says that our righteous acts (outside of relationship with God) are nothing more than filthy rags.
So...what am I saying? Works or no works??? Let’s get back to the basics. I will quote the late Henry Shrock who lived his life by this moto... TO KNOW GOD AND MAKE HIM KNOWN. Henry knew God...Henry believed in God above anything else. THAT was Henry’s greatest work. And, Henry also made God known. Henry made it HIS LIFE’S WORK to make God known. What a legacy. What an inspiration.
This COVID thing will pass. What are we doing in the meantime? What will we do after it’s over? Prayerfully, we will continue in knowing and believing in the one true God that gave us His one and only Son, Jesus. And hopefully, we see it as a priority to make Him known to those we encounter each and every day. It’s what Henry did. And now Henry’s faith has become sight. Glory to God!