Yes, we are sick and looking for medicine. Our labs and doctors are racing to find vaccines. But what if the virus were itself medicine for a national illness?
If you look at the Bible, you’ll see that God is often talking with society about the things that afflict it. And usually the prescription involves a national humbling and calling out to God. If that can happen, then healing follows.
We see the story of God dialoguing with Solomon (who represents a group of humans) about a plague that he allows to afflict the nation in 2 Chron. 7. And he gives a prescription:
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
If you were to diagnose us, what would you call this societal sickness that afflicts us? In the global family of nations, we are viewed by many as the bully. We’re the ones that others often avoid or tire of. We’re rich, powerful and overweight. If you look at our politicians, they are caricatures of our national character.
We coddle our children so that they can grow up that way too. We shower them with technology. We spend too much on it and put it on our credit cards. And we prioritize our autonomy so much that we break the natural feedback loops of people in community.
How ironic that the richest nation in the history of the world should be so fearful and anxious! As 2019 ended three months ago, our way of living wasn’t working. Our inner illness had no outlet in normal human conversation, so it manifested in the toxicity of our social media and politics. At a safe distance, we said things about one another that we’d never say in person.
This virus is scary – the death rate is climbing today. What if the pain of our national situation were to cause us to humble ourselves? What if we individually were to begin to reach out in humility and own our part in this?
I’ve never enjoyed taking medicine, but at some point, the possibility of getting better outweighs my aversion to whatever the doctor prescribed. It’s the same way when God asks me to humble myself. I hate going to people who have hurt me and apologizing for my part in the broken relationship.
Let’s start with ourselves. How is your relationship with your parents? How are you as a parent? How are you with your other family members or friends? Who are you at odds with?
I’m going to take this admonition to heart and write a few people who have hurt me or who I’ve hurt. Let’s begin to humble ourselves and seek God for the healing he so wants to give us.