I have a job with the Provincial Government. Usually I have a work schedule for a month in advance for small towns in rural areas. This is the weekend and my schedule for next week is … Wednesday. I’m sure someone will fix the problem, but right now they are busy with bigger things. That is my experience with the Viral Armageddon, so far. I have also just been notified that I can’t visit my old father in his nursing home, if I travel outside the country.
Probably you have your own interesting stories. A few days ago, the world seemed normal, with stories about a virus infection that needed to be controlled, mostly in China. Now our normal world has stopped. We hope it will restart soon, but we don’t know what will happen next.
Pictures of the next stages are beginning to emerge:
I couldn’t make that up. It seems like science fiction, except we are living through it.
I have worked in commercial transportation, and I know that we see trucks and buses everywhere, and in my nerdy way, that makes me happy. We may not know that we live in a transportation, supply chain world. If commercial drivers are quarantined for three days, and the trucks stop rolling, shops will empty and the economy will go into a recession. I once lived in a small town with one grocery store, and a snow storm kept the trucks away and made us all shop locally. When I got there, I found some large bags of dog food and many empty shelves.
My son went to buy food for his family, in his city, and the shelves were empty. He went to several supermarkets, and then he finally found milk for his children, in a convenience store, attached to a gas station.
So, where is God now?
There are some things we can know.
1) This is not the end. The Bible has many ‘prophecy’ sections, that tell us about the future, and this is not the future end that we are warned about. Jesus told us: “the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.” (Matthew 24: 29 to 30)
That is some comfort.
2) This is a picture of the end. Future history or prophecy in the Bible has something like reverberations. What we see will be repeated and amplified, until we all die or God intervenes in history. That intervention is the return of Jesus, who told us: “In the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matthew 24: 38 and 39)
We were comfortable and optimistic a few weeks ago, and this pandemic is a big surprise.
3) God didn’t move, we moved. The end is a new beginning; Jesus promised to return, and that is good news for some. People who don’t want God in their lives can trust in human progress and our best scientists; but our human-best effort produced this problem. This pandemic is our creation, from the start where we denied and lied, to our global mess now. The Bible answer is for God to move our way. “Keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” (Matthew 24: 42)
Our best scientists are desperate to fix what we broke when we moved away from God.
We can trust God or not, but the message is consistent. Someone up there loves us, and we will pass through this pandemic.