Chuck Swindoll writes, “When the sovereign God brings us to nothing, it is to reroute our lives, not to end them. Human perspective says, ‘Aha, you’ve lost this, you’ve lost that. You’ve caused this, you’ve caused that. You’ve ruined this, you’ve ruined that.’ But God says, ‘No. No. It’s time to reroute your life. Now’s the time to start anew!”
Holding onto a heavenly perspective restores our hope. Especially now. As many parts of the world brace for COVID’s return, human perspective might either push the panic button or throw its hand in the air in doomed resignation. But God views our plight differently. “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT)
We view the pandemic as the culprit that ended normalcy. We see it as responsible for taking away our freedom to worship in customary ways, visit friends and family, and sit with loved ones in the hospital. We blame it for upending our job or business. We consider it the bad guy that ruined wedding, vacation, or ministry plans.
But what if we’re missing something? Maybe God is saying, “No. No. It’s time to reroute your life. Now’s the time to start anew.”
I’ve discovered this is true in my teaching ministry. For nearly twenty years, I could pretty much look at my calendar and predict when ministry leaders would book me for fall or spring events. But things are different. For now, the pandemic has slammed the lid on ministry as I’ve known it for two decades. That doesn’t mean things can’t change and return to the usual, but perhaps God has other plans. Maybe He’s saying it’s time to reroute that aspect of my life and start anew. You know—the message remains the same but the method of presenting it changes.
I’m open to whatever rerouting and starting anew looks like even if it’s far beyond my comfort zone. In fact, I ventured into hosting a Zoom Bible study that began late last month, and more than eighty women registered. The learning curve has been steep but worth the effort.
Realistically, life might never return to the way we once knew it. Does that mean everything’s ruined? No. That we’ve hit a wall and can never move forward from here? Absolutely not. It does mean that we need to ask God to shift our perspective so it aligns with His. How might He want us to reroute our lives?
If spending habits have been a little too loose, now’s the time to reroute by developing, and sticking to, a budget.
If the gym remains closed, now’s the time to figure out a different routine to stay healthy and strong.
If your business has slowed or closed, now’s the time to experience God provide in new ways and to follow as He leads down an unfamiliar path.
If people in your life have taken a backseat to position and possessions, now’s the time to switch things up and focus on what matters more.
If faith has grown complacent, now’s the time to recommit to loving God with all one’s whole heart, soul, mind, and strength.
A human perspective thinks the pandemic has taken so much. In many ways, it has. But God’s thoughts are higher than ours, and His perspective renews hope. What does He have in store? How might He be using it to give us a fresh start? How might He be using it to give you a fresh start? Go ahead–share your thoughts here to encourage the rest of us.
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