Wednesday, July 1, 2020

A Letter to COVID by David Hummell



This amazing post comes to us from David Hummell (David attends one of the many CH Bible studies that meets throughout Jacksonville).  

                                                                                                                                                Pentecost 2020
Dear COVID-19,
Man, you are a son-of-a-gun.  I mean it.  You swept into our world and wrought global havoc like we’ve never seen.  Death tolls in the hundreds of thousands, financial crisis, unemployment projections matching that of the Great Depression, governmental partisan finger-pointing at an all-time high, international blame-gaming, divisive conspiracy theories; and a slew of other side-affects like ramped levels of quarantine anxiety, emotional depression, an exponential rise in new addictions, horrific do-it-yourself haircuts, some of the worst facial hair decisions ever made; and there are even the new phenomena of “mask shaming.”  “Mask shaming.”  That’s where we are.  
COVID-19, you are truly the worst!  But even so, I want to THANK YOU!
Thank you for ferociously exposing the fragility and frailty of our human spirit, of my human spirit, and thank you for forcing us into our homes and giving us something we always ask for...TIME.  Time to reevaluate our purpose, our priorities, and our commitment to what we are put on this planet to do…expand the Kingdom of God.  
You COVID-19 were like an alarming abnormal lump that forces one to seek an expert opinion, diagnosis, and treatment; or a low tire pressure warning light that forces one to pull to the side of the road or into the nearest mechanic shop for further inspection and repair. But in this case, you were the warning light for my soul, salvation, and fulfillment of my purpose here on Earth.   
Thank you, COVID-19! 
 “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” (Genesis 50:20)
Very early on in this crisis, during this precious pause, the Lord put on my heart the phrase, “Don’t MISS IT, Don’t MISS OUT.”  While it admittedly took me a couple days to decipher what this meant (my immediate thought was DON’T MISS OUT on the stock market fire sale…I’m such an earthling), it then hit me like a lightning bolt.  God did not want me, nor others to miss out on this amazing opportunity before us, the opportunity while called home in quarantine to spend with our loving and faithful heavenly Father, speaking with Him, learning about Him, in His word, in silent meditation and prayer like never before.  What a wonderful, unexpected, and precious gift amid this horrific pandemic, and thankfully, I have and continue to take full advantage of it!  
As I dove headfirst into God’s word like never before, I stumbled across the lesser-known Old Testament two-chapter (perfect for you light readers) book of Haggai, a minor prophet who delivered his prophecies over only a four-month time period.  Although the second shortest book in the Bible, it packed a powerful prophetic punch that not only resonated with the broken people of Israel but resonated deeply with my broken self as well.  It tells of the people of Israel being released from Babylonian and Persian captivity around 539 BC, allowed to return home to Jerusalem, directed by King Cyrus to rebuild God’s Temple, His earthly dwelling with us.  Unfortunately, that group lost focus of the task at hand as priorities waivered, their purpose was forgotten, and perspective blurred; until God spoke through the prophet Haggai to challenge and encourage His people to complete this spiritual and physical undertaking resulting in a “house that will be greater than the glory of the former house.” (Haggai 2:9) 
5Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 6You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill.  You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it”.    
7This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 8Go up into the mountains and bring down lumber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored, “says the Lord.   (Life Application Study Bible, Haggai 1:5-8)
Much as the people of Israel were released from Egyptian slavery, I was released from captivity of death and sin, set free through the blood of Jesus.  But still, at times, I wander in the wilderness, much like the people of Israel due to my occasional lacking of faith, trust, and proper perspective.  
And again, much as the people of Israel were released from Babylon, I was also recently released from captivity.  But my release was from the captivity of every-day, Bible-dabbling, occasionally praying, happy-go-lucky, normal, successful by earthly standards, 9:00-5:00 working, running in all directions, hectic life; and called home into quarantine.  I realize this sounds contradictory, being released from captivity into quarantine?  Yes!  Remember the call on my heart to Don’t MISS IT, Don’t MISS OUT.  I saw this as a release from captivity of “normal” life to spend time with our faithful, loving, heavenly Father, in His word, getting to know Him better, and reminded fervently of the ultimate task of expanding the Kingdom of God here on earth.  I had an unprecedented opportunity amid your horrific crisis to pause, reflect, and like the people of Israel released from Babylon, was challenged to give careful thought to my ways; re-evaluate my priorities, purpose, perspective, and patience. 
As a result of all this, I have reached a previously unfound level of ease in releasing total control to my trustworthy and faithful heavenly Father, finding peace and fulfillment that I have never experienced before.  Not too shabby for my first global pandemic.  No more wandering!!
Thank you, COVID-19.  
Disclaimer:  Don’t get me wrong, I still have SEVERAL AREAS OF OPPORTUNITY (just ask my wife and kids) that are still major works in progress (being more “present,” having more “patience,” using less “foul language,” bad dietary habits, etc., etc., etc.), but one day at a time.  
Now, please understand COVID-19 that I don’t write you this letter to encourage you.  You are still the worst!   I write this letter for me, to keep close and reflect on in days, weeks, and months to come and once you, and all of the chaos you brought with you has been eradicated from this planet; so that I don’t ever go back.  Certainly not back to the captivity of “normal” as there was NO FUTURE in “normal.”  
Today I pray for the courage, obedience, discipline, and wisdom to avoid ever returning to the captivity of “normal.”  There was NO FUTURE in it, at least not the future that God intended for me.   
You really are the worst COVID-19, but again, I thank you!  
Forever grateful for your horrendousness,
David Hummell, Treasured child of God