Sunday, April 5, 2020

Are we learning from life

COVID 19   Are we learning the lessons?

Learning to live simple: The restaurants are closed. We are isolated at home! – well my wife has started cooking damper – flour, milk, butter and raisins. It is simple and great.

Learning to live together – the sports fields are deserted, the cinemas are closed – now we are home together – we can eat meals together, play board games together, sit by a bonfire together!

Learning to create:  The supply of ready made gifts and gadgets is shrinking, the access to ready made clothes is limited – Maybe the art of sewing and knitting will be reinvented! Children making things out of cardboard boxes!

Learning to maintain:  no job to go to, less money to buy with. Now we have time to clean and oil our bicycle, our car or our house. Maybe even repair our mower instead of buying a new one.
Learning to read: Well sadly this probably won’t work because everyone is glued to their screens. Perhaps we should turn off the internet and begin reading books and best of all taking time to read the Bible.

Learning to be content at home: Australia, the land of travel –travel for commerce, travel for pleasure. Now that the roads are restricted, we do well to learn contentment and productivity at home.

Learning to live with uncertainty: - the value of tomorrows money is uncertain, the promise of employment,  the availability of food all remains tentative. Instead of panic and depression, we ought to learn the practical value of trust in the Lord.

Learning to commune with God:   all the churches are closed. Gatherings are limited to 10 or less. This is a good time to return to the Biblical occupation of meditating on the word of God  alone. I am not so sure that the rush to online church is helpful. It sustains the malady of spoon fed Christians with introvision, of looking after us instead of looking out to seek  others. Maybe a taste of China limitations would be good medicine for us in the west. The Holy Spirit is a great teacher if we take time to be quiet with the Lord. It is so helpful to journal in these difficult times.

Learning to be prepared: - some have smiled at my little stash of food for hard times. That smile has gone.

Learn to sow when the seasons are good in preparation for difficult times. We have fallen into the mindset of the ‘instant society’ - food now, new clothes now, information now, help now etc instead of waiting and preparing.

Learning to sow the truth of the word of God  in times of opportunity:  As Jesus said, “ the night comes, when no one can work” I used to wonder what He meant – now I know. Better to sow the seed before the tragedy event – As the Lord did- He warned the disciples of His impending cross and its purpose.

Learning to love with more than words: the shallowness of  ‘I love you’ needs to be replaced with the actions of ‘I love you even when undeserved’. Maybe COVID 19 will bring many prodigals home.

Learning to face the fragility of life: with medical treatment and medicine stretched beyond its capacity,  we can no longer assume that doctors can keep us alive to 85 years. The western lie, that life is good, needs to be replaced with the truth that life is short and Eternity is long.

Learning that God is at work:  from the highest to the lowest, we have to admit that we have lost control of our world. Presidents, Prime Ministers, Kings etc are trembling   with fear, unable to control the tiny virus or the outcomes devastating the world.- maybe God is teaching what He taught Nebuchadnezzar many years ago – ‘God rules in the kingdoms of men.

Learning that God judges: is there a cause for God to permit such tragedy? A  world where idolatry is increasing, where immoral behaviour is government approved, where unborn babies are slaughtered wholesale, a world of atheism, even among Jews, violence as normal, a world that has said ‘ no God for me’, churches that have dispensed with the Bible etc – God has every reason to judge.

Learning that God’s grace alone is the way to acceptance with God:  In these terrifying times, what help are the many religions that teach that hope is built on our good doing, our ritual keeping, our karma changing. Let us learn quickly that we all deserve judgement and damnation.  God’s grace alone through the once crucified  Christ  brings acceptance with God.

Learning to pray:  We have been taught to be independent . Even eloquent prayers fail when the world collapses around us.  It is so good that God still hears the prayer of the humble and contrite.

Learning to look and listen to Nature:  with the takeover of human thinking by the media and the internet, thoughtfulness has been lost. Now we can take time to listen to the birds, care for animals,  smell the roses, study the insects, watch the clouds and count the stars!

Learning to have longsighted vision:  so many hopes and dreams have been smashed – built on the sand castles of ‘ self esteem’ live your dream’ go your own way’ make your fortune now’. Rather the word of the Lord Jesus still holds good- “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these thing shall be added unto you” “Lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven!” (Matthew 6,7)

Learning the real priorities of life: Instead  of constant ‘selfies’ and selfishness, change to    Jesus... others.... yourself  -  JOY

Learning about the future: Modern prophets have made all sorts of predictions, both good and bad. How quickly they can all be cancelled. Only God knows the future and it is about time we began to take notice.

Are we prepared to ‘Be still and know that He is God”  ????

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