by: Pastor David Huffstutler
#1: God’s plans are always better than our plans: I had writing plans, study plans, preaching plans, family plans, etc. for the first half of December (and after). I’m a type-A personality who enjoys planning as much as executing. But for all my planning, especially for December, God had other plans (cf. Proverbs 16:1, 3, 9, 33). And for all of the lessons I’ve learned and relearned, I’m so glad He did. His plans are better than mine.
#2: Nothing satisfies the soul more than God: Between having cottonmouth and not wanting to eat, I could do little more than sleep in my bed or vegetate in my chair. The fevers and headaches kept me from being able to read. Whether checking the news, trying to play a game on my phone, or watching a video (sports bloopers and the like), what I enjoyed most was reading a psalm, and especially Psalm 110. Christ is my Great High Priest, He is coming again, and His people will follow Him in that day. God’s Word gave me the greatest pleasure in the midst of my great displeasure. Covid-19 parched my body and gave my soul a thirst for my God.
#3: God values personal sanctification more than our practical goals: There was something worse than the virus in me when I was ill. There was anger for missing goals and frustration for not knowing why I got Covid-19 and why I got it so severely. I spoke like Job several times. Just ask my wife. (And she did not tell me to curse God and die, in case you were wondering.) God let me suffer so I could see that He was sovereign and that I needed sanctification. I am ashamed of some of the reactions I had. I am glad that He mercifully exposed my sin so that I can better show the fruit of His Spirit in time to come.
#4: God is merciful and compassionate to heal the sick: Speaking of Job, not only do we learn that he was steadfast in his trials, but God was also compassionate and merciful to Him in the end (James 5:11). I wondered for a good week if God would be merciful and compassionate to me. He was. And His mercy and compassion did some healing to my soul along the way. If only I could have realized that better at the time.
Continued next week…