Guided by More than a Crisis
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to many conspiracy theories. The virus has been contrived by the government. Bankers are plotting to suck our accounts dry. Communists are behind it all. Some of their chilling ideas unsettle me. I feel small and helpless. Victimized by evil intentions.
I’m not the first person to feel like the victim of someone pursuing their own agenda. Conspiracy theories were voiced by the Israelites when they journeyed to Canaan. With pillars of fire and cloud to guide them, they had constant reminders of God’s blessing on their journey. On good days, they rejoiced in God. On bad days, they grew suspicious of Moses.
Their journey had hardly begun when they faced their first crisis. Trapped between the Red Sea and an enemy army, death was certain unless God intervened. But in their desperation, they forgot that God was the one who led them to this place. Conspiracy theorists immediately blamed their leader. “Moses, what have you done to us? Why did you bring us here to die? Were there not enough graves in Egypt?”
Again, when the multitude reached Marah where the only water was bitter, they forgot the Lord and blamed Moses. Depending on their response, they could have been known forever as people of faith. They could have recounted the miracles God already had done for them and ended their time of remembrance and worship by saying, “Lord, we are thirsty. How are you going to deliver us this time?”
Instead, they criticized Moses, saying, “You brought us into the wilderness so we could die of thirst?”
Later, when the pillar of fire led them to the Desert of Sin and the people grew hungry, they again became suspicious of Moses’ intentions. “You brought us here so we would starve to death?”
At the threshold of Canaan, the spies came back with a horrifying report: the country they had suffered so much to reach was a land of giants. Insurmountable. Undefeatable. And they cried out against Moses.
They didn’t seem to consider that if Moses had dark intentions, he could have destroyed them in Egypt with far less trouble to himself. This entire journey was God’s idea. Their hardships were not meant to bring destruction or misery. God had good things in mind. These crises were designed to mightily display the power of God before the Israelites. God wanted them to call on Him at the edge of Canaan. He was ready to defeat the giants and give them the land.
Like the Israelites who stood wavering on the threshold of Canaan, I face a choice whenever I am up against a problem bigger than I can handle alone. I can choose to feel victimized by my circumstances, or I can trust God for deliverance, saying, “Lord, things look impossible right now. How are You going to deliver me this time?”
Whether they are as large as a pandemic, as ordinary as a toddler not receiving instruction, or as sinister as proven conspiracies, God wants to demonstrate His power through the battles His children fight. He wants us to turn to Him when we are distressed.
Are you in an impossible situation? Build your faith by recounting the ways God delivered you in the past, then face your crisis with trust, saying, “Lord, once again I am up against something I cannot handle alone, but I know You can do great things. How will You deliver me this time?”
This kind of unshakable faith during our hardest challenges will powerfully reveal Jesus to the world.
This post is partly based on a message preached by Paul Lloyd on April 5th, 2020 at Charity Christian Fellowship.