I recently became a victim of the coronavirus. And while I know most people suffer minimal symptoms from it, I’ve been very sick for almost two weeks. When something big takes hold of your life-if only for a week or two-you start asking questions about life: profound questions.
Here’s one: Is what I devote my spare time to when I am well and strong really worth bothering with? I have this theory that the society we live in causes a lot of us to engross ourselves in things which in the eternal perspective have no value whatsoever. Most of us do it, because we want to fulfill dull, empty time with something we think is giving us pleasure. The most obvious example would be spending all our time looking at devices-at news and products and gossip which seem at the time to be giving us little thrills. I’ve had to break myself of the Facebook habit-before I contracted the virus-and now with the virus-YouTube, because I came to realize what a destructive effect they were having on my view of the world and on the time God has given me.
Here’s another question: Have I been living my life for Jesus? Have I been hot for him, or have I been luke-warm? This is no small matter at all, in fact it’s of colossal importance. Here’s what Jesus Christ said on the subject:
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth (Revelation 3:15:16).
This isn’t a gospel of works being shared here, because John’s gospel makes plain what the works of God are:
The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent (John 6:29).
Who wants a love affair with a wet fish: with someone who has no passion and no feeling and no depth of love? I had fooled myself into thinking that I believe in the Son enough to keep him happy. What he really wants is a hot, no-holds barred, passionate love affair with me-and I have been failing miserably in that.
In my sickness I did consider Job, that poor guy who had to suffer at the hands of Satan while God in a sense stood back to watch what happened. I was aware that I too was in a situation where how I reacted to my suffering was of great importance to my Creator. I did my best to say, with Job, “Though he (God) slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15).
So all in all, my sickness has brought with it some blessings. I have come to a point of re-arranging my priorities. That to-do list which just kept getting longer had very little value and served only to stress me out. It never got shorter, so that my God was always a long, long way down the list. To tell the truth, He wasn’t even on it. He wasn’t on it because I thought my belief in the gospel was enough. It wasn’t. Forgive me, oh my God.