““I am the LORD, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed.”
–Malachi 3:6 (NLT)
Right now we are in very challenging times, and practically everyone’s routines have been totally shaken up, or completely come to a stop. These current events remind me of a time in my life when the same thing happened to me.
My mom and stepfather got married in late 1995, and they were welcomed home from their honeymoon by a job offer. My stepfather, Pete, was an airplane pilot, and he decided to accept the job at America West Airlines. He enjoyed his job, but unfortunately it kept him away from my mom and I for long periods of time. In order for us to live closer to Pete, Mom decided we would move from Minnesota to Arizona.
I had just turned 15 years old, and I loved my home and my friends in Minnesota, so of course I took this cross-country move very hard. I became depressed, and I withdrew into myself. I was a bit of a loner during high school, and even though I eventually got used to our new home and made a few friends, I still missed Minnesota very much.
As time passed, however, life went back to normal. With the help of some counseling, I got over my depression, and I started to enjoy my life again. My childhood home will always have a special place in my heart, but if God hadn’t moved our family away from there, I wouldn’t have met my husband years later, among other things.
The story my wife shared reminds me of an interesting word which our pastor introduced to us. He told us how the word “probortunity” was first coined by a missionary, and how it spoke of the marriage of two concepts. Basically, you can choose to turn a problem into an opportunity. It all depends on how you look at it.
I was intrigued, since I had been looking for just such a word to explain our thoughts concerning the Coronavirus. I would like to examine it in further detail by taking my wife’s story apart.
As Stephanie made clear, she was confronted with a problem which would seem enormous to any child–the problem of leaving everything she knew behind. Perhaps you have been through a similar dilemma, which you didn’t think you would emerge from unscathed.
Although you survived and moved on, my friend, you still can’t explain things away. I often say that God works behind the scenes, and though people try to minimize or disprove this, they are unable to do so.
Therefore, I have good news for you. There is no doubt that these times are difficult, but if you let God’s presence fill the cavity of the unknown in your life, He will gladly fill your heart with His joy and love. He reaches out His hand to walk with you through the deep waters, but the story doesn’t end there. Instead of forcing His way into your life, He waits for a response from you.
Just as an oyster polishes an irritating grain of sand, God wants to turn your problem into a pearl of opportunity for you. But He won’t make a move without an invitation from you. So the question is: will you let Him give you the abundant life that you seek?
You can do this by using the extra time you have these days to get to know Him in a deeper way through Bible study and prayer. Let discomfort be a vehicle that reminds us of all the things we take for granted. Then, thank and praise our Lord for holding you in the palm of His hand while everything seems to be crumbling around you.
We have an unprecedented opportunity for revival, but in order for that to happen, all of us need to become serious before God. In other words, rather than being concerned with my neighbor, I need to look into my own heart to see how God is dealing with me. I also need to ask Him to give me an unquenchable desire for His Word, and for prayer. Many of the great revivals in history started with a small group of praying people.
We need to change our outlook to an up-look. Instead of making the goings-on in Washington or the constant Corona news updates our first priority, then, we need to look to God for answers. At the same time, instead of complaining, we need to pray for our elected officials.
I guess I’ll sum things up by saying that we have a much greater problem than Coronavirus on our hands. We are all infected with the virus of sin. But I will also say that we have a much greater opportunity than we know, for God longs to cure us of our sins and increase our vision. Let Him do that for you today, and watch your problems become His opportunities.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870.
Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Tuesday night Bible study. These studies are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 5:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 712-432-6498. When prompted, press 1 for live chat rooms, and we’ll be waiting in room 31. You can press pound to bypass our friend Sharon’s intro message once you’ve entered room 31. We hope to talk with you soon!
If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.