The coronavirus pandemic this spring has put everyone in a hard place.
Many of us have been either locked down in our homes, quarantined or even hospitalized. Businesses, restaurants and beaches have closed; schools and churches have moved online; even legislators are contemplating voting from home, as we are all urged to keep a social distance from each other in order to protect ourselves from this highly contagious, deadly disease.
The hosts for my upcoming speaking engagements have canceled their events; my doctors have canceled my appointments; and I find that I too am isolated. I've been reminded of a dramatic scene in the Old Testament. When Moses asked God to show him His glory, God agreed, but specified that Moses would only be allowed to see the back side. In other words, Moses would only see God's glory as he looked back. He placed Moses in the cleft of a rock ... in a hard place ... as He covered Moses with His hand, to reassure him of His presence. Then God removed His hand, and Moses must have felt abandoned. Forsaken. Isolated. Alone.
But it was just then that God caused His glory to pass by Moses. God's glory was not a shining cloud, but a fresh revelation of His character: "The Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, 'The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin'" (Ex. 34:6-7).
In the past four years, I, too, have been placed in the "cleft of a rock." A hard place. My husband's sudden, unexpected death; my father's death three years later; my diagnosis of cancer and the subsequent surgery and follow-up treatments have been personally and equally as hard as the place in which we now find ourselves as a nation. But ...
As I have looked back, I have seen God's glory. I have experienced God's faithfulness to meet my needs, His grace to pour out His blessings through family and friends, His strength to enable me to endure triumphantly and His goodness to bring me through one day at a time. The vision of His glory enabled me to maintain my joy, my inner peace and the steadfast hope that God was in control and would work out all things for my good.
In what hard place has God placed you? Do you find yourself today in "the cleft of a rock"? Your situation may be directly related to the coronavirus, or it may have nothing at all to do with it. But do you feel isolated from others, lonely, abandoned as you wonder where God is?
If you are in a hard place, ask God to show you His glory. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you in a fresh, personal way. He promises that if we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us. So "Let us draw near [to God] with a true heart in full assurance of faith" (Heb. 10:22).
Who knows? As you look back on the hard place in which you find yourself, you may discover that it actually has been the place of your greatest blessing because it was there that you experienced a fresh encounter with the living God.
Called "the best preacher in the family" by her father, Billy Graham, Anne Graham Lotz speaks around the globe with the wisdom and authority of years spent studying God's Word. The New York Times named Anne one of the five most influential evangelists of her generation. She's been profiled on 60 Minutes and has appeared on TV programs such as Larry King Live, The Today Show and Hannity Live. Her Just Give Me Jesus revivals have been held in more than 30 cities in 12 different countries, to hundreds of thousands of attendees.
For the original article, visit annegrahamlotz.com.
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