I’ve got opinions. You’ve got opinions. All God’s children have opinions.

And all of us have friends who have opinions. And we share those opinions.

Some of us think people aren’t taking this virus seriously enough.
Some of us think people are taking this virus way too seriously.
Some of us share news stories hoping to change minds.
Some of us share news stories because they’re sad or scary.
Some of us need to know the numbers and the stats and the predictions.
Some of us just want to know where to buy toilet paper.

All of us have a viewpoint about this pandemic and the response to it. We’ve listened to our favorite pundits and talking heads and clicked on the headlines from our favorite sources and we know, we KNOW, what should be done about this. And it’s very frustrating when we disagree with what is actually being done or when we talk with others who disagree with what is being done.

All of us are experiencing grief. We have gone through significant loss – a loss of normalcy, a loss of security, a loss of goals and events and trips, a loss of income, a loss of daily life. While this grief is manageable, it is still a factor in our emotional balance. And when we add the frustrations and irritations and expectations of the “shelter-in-place” life, it’s no wonder that our opinions on how to fix this are important to us. Some of us have had friends or family members directly affected by this virus, and we’re deeply motivated. And some of us are fired up by the possibility that the management of the virus has been mishandled or even manipulated for political means. All of us care deeply about the people who are suffering – grandparents separated from grandchildren, nursing home residents without visitors, healthcare workers exposed on a daily basis, and of course, families bereft of wonderful members.

Yes, we have opinions. But God has facts. And plans.

I love the quote attributed to Corrie ten Boom “God has no problems, only plans.”

In this season of uncertainty and frustration and cabin-fever for us, He is content in the purposes He has. And do you know what? Even if the pandemic was handled hastily and unadvisedly in some respects, God can use this time for our benefit. And ultimately, He will get the glory.

We can learn the lessons He purposes regardless of who caused the situation. We can become stronger in faith, closer in family, tougher in resolve, humbler in attitude and kinder in spirit, no matter who is right and who is wrong.

God will work out His plan for our world whether the little episodes He uses are brought about by the Republicans or Democrats or liberals or conservatives or a hostile nation with unsanitary meat markets. The pause He has allowed in our lives, this great ritardando in the score of living, is part of His plan somehow. My opinions and your opinions are interesting as possible causes or solutions, but what He is accomplishing on an eternal scale would blow our minds.

Maybe we could have bypassed “COVID-19” if we had been more vigilant, more prepared, more prompt, But then, probably not. He would have used something else to work in us. This one will do. It will continue to conform us to the image of His Son if we so allow. And that isn’t an opinion, but the truth.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son . . . Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (Romans 8:28-29, 35)

Heavenly Father, work in me so that I might be more closely conformed to Your Son, Jesus. You are using what I don’t want to make me into what You want. I trust You. In Christ’s name, Amen.

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