We're still hoping we'll wake up. We're still hoping we'll open a sleepy eye and think, What a horrible dream. How could this have happened?
Just a moment ago moms were packing school lunches. Just a moment ago chefs were planning the day's menu. Just a moment ago arenas were noisy, brides were walking down the aisle and neighbors were discussing the weather.
In just a moment, everything changed. A phantom disease invaded our peace, our plans and our security. In a heartbeat our language and behaviors were upended. Even young children understand the term "social distancing," "quarantine" and "COVID-19." Grandma isn't allowed visitors in her nursing home. Workers are telecommuting, zooming and skyping in their baseball caps and slippers. Handshakes and hugs have been put on indefinite hold.
This strange season has introduced a level of fear we haven't seen since 9/11. Fear of what might come. Fear of touching. Fear of exposure. Fear of what we can't see.
We are anxious, Father. And so we come to You. We don't ask You for help; we beg You for it. We don't request; we implore. We know what You can do. We've read the accounts. We've pondered the stories and now we plead, "Do it again, Lord. Do it again."
Remember Joseph? You rescued him from the pit. You can do the same for us. Do it again, Lord.
Remember the Hebrews in Egypt? You protected their children from the angel of death. We have children, too, Lord. Do it again.
And Sarah? Remember her prayers? You heard them. Joshua? Remember his fears? You inspired him. The women at the tomb? You resurrected their hope. The doubts of Thomas? You took them away. Do it again, Lord. Do it again.
You changed Daniel from a captive into a king's counselor. You took Peter the fisherman and made him Peter an apostle. Because of you, David went from leading sheep to leading armies. Do it again, Lord, for we need counselors today, Lord. We need apostles. We need leaders. Do it again, dear Lord.
What we're seeing on the news, You saw on that Friday so long ago. Innocence interrupted. Goodness suffering. Mothers weeping. Just as the darkness fell on Your Son, we fear the darkness falling on our friends, our family and our world. Just as our world has been shaken by a disease, our world was shaken the day the very child of eternity was pierced.
You saw it. But You did not waver, O Lord. You did not waver. After Your Son's three days in a dark hole, You rolled the rock, rumbled the earth and turned the darkest Friday into the brightest Sunday. Do it again, Lord. Grant us another Easter.
We thank You, dear Father, for these hours of unity. Selfless acts of service and kindness warm our hearts. Strangers see opportunities to share with others. Our medical warriors are working together, at personal risk, to care for the rest of us. We thank You for their remarkable commitment.
And we see the world turning to You, Father. We see people encouraging people with Scriptures and reminders of your sovereignty. We read posts urging us to respect each other, care for each other and look up. We confess we have been anxious, but because of You, we have hope.
We ask, Father: Let your mercy be upon all who suffer. Grant to those who lead us wisdom beyond their years and experience. Have mercy upon the souls who have been hurt by this disease. Give us grace to help each other and faith that we might believe.
And look kindly upon Your church. For 2,000 years You've used her to heal a hurting world.
Do it again, Lord. Do it again.
Through Christ, amen.
Max Lucado is a San Antonio, Texas, pastor and bestselling author. He is hosting a free online Bible study on anxiety starting March 23 at Facebook.com/MaxLucado. For more go to MaxLucado.com.
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