Genesis 3:19 “By the sweat of your face you will eat bread, till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
Humbling statement. God’s staunch reminder to Adam that He created Adam with His own hands from the dust of the ground, and he will return the same way wasn’t just aimed at Adam, but at all of us now. When Adam and Eve chose their will over God’s Will, God rebuked them and handed down their punishment. He didn’t pat them on the back and tell them that it was okay. He didn’t send them to time-out to think about what they had just done. He didn’t offer a way out. He dished out severe punishment for what they did. Punishment that would haunt their ancestors. After all, if God would have handled this any other way, it would have set the precedent for all of us.
We all could sin and safely feel that God would forgive us with no repercussion whatsoever. Some people do feel this way, but Genesis tells us a different story.
When we begin to think that God is all kind and cuddly, we have lost the story of the Fall of Man in our hearts. The Lenten season should be a reminder to all of us, that we live in a fallen world and we must fight our way through societal demands in order to do God’s Will. Lent is the time to remember that we need God first in our hearts, not our own selfish desires. Let’s face it in this day and age that is an uphill battle. In Lent we are preparing for a battle. The battle that Jesus fought off in the Garden of Gethsemane. The battle that prepares us for the Crucifixion. The battle that will arm us for the world.
This lent is different than any other lent in my past. The battle is on. I have a daily battle within my soul to either do my will or relinquish to God’s Will. This creates an uncertainty in my heart. I am trying to conquer my selfish desire to live in this materialistic and egotistical world. I really want to see God’s beauty in the horrific struggle, but yet all I can see is my own battles. I am struggling to see that we are all in the same boat. I can’t seem to get past what I am facing.
Battling something without a face has proven to be one of the most difficult tasks of my life. Watching the stock market crash is beyond scary. The uncertainty of my job and my husband’s business is, well let’s just say, heart attack material. Each day is a torturous journey. I step out of bed into the unknown. The media steals every inkling of hope I had the minute I turn on the tv or read the news. I feel robbed of my hope, joy, and gratitude. It all seems so unfair. How can I take back my hope, joy, and gratitude? How can I stop wallowing in my own self-pity?
This reminder of Genesis 3:19 gives me a deep understanding of who I am and where I came from. I am dust. I was created by God, and I will return to Him. God has given me great instructions on how to live in this world, not of this world. When I choose my own selfish desires, the punishment will be difficult. God will not sugar coat it for me. I think this is something we are all coming to realize – #March2020sucks.
When we choose ourselves over God, our life becomes more and more difficult. We cannot understand why we are faced with challenges and struggles all the time. We cannot understand how life is so unfair. We cannot comprehend that we chose the wrong path, or maybe the wrong path chose us?
This coronavirus is not a punishment from God, it is an opportunity.
It is an opportunity to look inwardly. God is granting me with a gift today. I can step out of bed in fear, or I can jump out of bed with hope. I can find the unfairness in this whole ordeal, or I can find the joy in an ordinary day. I can dread the day’s events, or I can find hope in the simplicity of things.
It is not a coincidence that his all unfolded during Lent. Jesus spent 40 days in the desert in order to comprehend our human agony of sin. We are spending at least 40 days in the desert of quarantine and facing the uncertainty of the unknown. This is what Lent is all about – taking a look at our lives and making necessary changes to become better people, better neighbors, better co-workers, better parents, and most of all better Christians.
Does this mean that Lent is all fire and brimstone? Absolutely not. Lent is hope. We have hope that we can do better. We have hope that God will help us out of this dark hole of uncertainty, and HE WILL HELP US. The ladder is on its way to save His people.
I have no doubt that He is coming, but while we are waiting, let’s figure out how to imprison that robber that stole our hope, joy, and gratitude. Let’s remember that we are in this together. Look around. We are a community that can ban together and do great things, amazing things. Let’s take back our hope, joy, and gratitude together. We need to change the headline of this story. Let’s change #March2020sucks into #March2020offershope
Phillipians 2:14-16 Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.