The Promise

As I was thinking about what to write for my next blog post, a friend of mine said why not just talk about the COVID-19 virus?

I'm sure a lot of you, or at least some are tired and weak with all the talk about the virus. I know I am.

The virus has affected people across the world. It has no compassion for the healthy or feeble. The virus that is the cause of a new age pandemic. The virus that has destroyed lives and stolen jobs while leaving homes worried and sick with distress.

Why would I want to talk about a virus that spreads the world like cancer does a human body? Because I want to tell you something a little bit about Walmart.

My sister is currently working there and she came by the salon (before I was forced to close down), to grab some gloves so she could protect herself from the hundreds of people who go in and shop there. She works in the front with all the other cashiers. They are some of the ones that will get the most impact from the virus. Yet, even though my sister is afraid of getting sick she goes in like a soldier every shift.

I have to share a funny story about my sister. Sorry, Holly! She's always been afraid of getting sick. She actually does well while she's sick. She recovers probably the fastest than anyone in my family. However, her fear resides in the waiting of catching it.

One day we were eating Red Lobster. Yes, you know what's coming. After eating too many biscuits, she felt sick to her stomach and started to panic. And that panic birthed worry which led to her running to the bathroom and throwing up all over the place. It took us years to eat there again, as you now know why.

So as I was reading from 2 Timothy this morning, I knew I had to write about this coronavirus (which I can't even pronounce correctly most of the time).

'Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene [root word: meaning cancer].' 2 Timothy 2:15-17

This verse made me think of my sister who walks into Walmart with the fear of getting sick, not actually being sick. Think of all the people who are without a job, or now have limited contact with people. My sister goes in like she normally does every week. And you know what most people are talking about or shopping because of? The coronavirus.

What do you see the most of on Facebook or Instagram? What has consumed our conversations? The coronavirus. I am sick of it! Yes, we ought to take this seriously and it is great to stay informed about it with the news. But do we need to keep sharing memes and posting things about it so we're just creating irreverent babble?

In Paul's second letter to Timothy, a new young pastor, he addresses a warning to stay away from this sort of talk. For it will just lead you away from God and it will spread like cancer.

Last Sunday, during church time, it felt so weird. Almost like a dream that you can't seem to understand or make out of. My family and I have listened to sermons at home before, but this past Sunday morning it felt different. And I can only imagine what the early church must have felt like during the persecution from Rome. Yet, in the midst of this great terror and calamity, Christianity spread like wildfire. I was definitely convicted when the pastor talked about how we have started talking more about this virus than Jesus.

I'm not trying to Jesus-Juke you, rest assured, this just convicted me personally.

A few years ago I read a trilogy by Francine Rivers that really opened my eyes to the early church and the massacres inside and outside of the Colosseum!

Now I'd like to introduce you to the climax of this blog post.

Through the lens of the coronavirus, the world can be scary. The future may never be the same. But there is a promise that God will fulfill. This promise is a reminder that God is with us through the scary times, through the beautiful times. In the morning and in the evening.

He has been fulfilling this promise since the days of Moses and Abraham.

'But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: "The Lord knows those who are his,"' 2 Timothy 2:19

Side note: the word 'know' means knowing intimately.

How great is the love of the Father that we're called the children of God.

Abram, a man whose years almost exceeded a century's, was surprised by the presence of God. Abram being in the presence of a Holy God fell facedown as God spoke to him.

God made a covenant with him 5 chapters before this point of our story. The covenant He speaks now is entirely different though. This covenant was so certain, God changed Abram's name to Abraham and his wife's name Sarai to Sarah. So that it would be an everlasting reminder of the promise.

Btw, a covenant is much more than a mere promise. A covenant means: to enter into a formal agreement; to bind one's self by contract. The promise of God to man.

'Your name will no longer be Abram, but your name will be Abraham, for I will make you the father of many nations. I will make you extremely fruitful and will make nations and kings come from you.' Genesis 17:5-6 

Because I love words and the meanings behind them, I had to include:

Abram means "exalted father."

Abraham means "father of many."

'God said to Abraham, “As for your wife Sarai, do not call her Sarai, for Sarah will be her name. I will bless her; indeed, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she will produce nations; kings of peoples will come from her.' Genesis 17:15-16

Both names, Sarai and Sarah come from the root word "princess." However, Sarah adds "My" to the meaning of Princess. Meaning, that Sarah is the Great I AM's princess.  

Isaac, their promised son, means "laughter."

This is slightly ironic since both Abraham and Sarah laughed at God telling them they would bear children in their old age.

'I will keep My covenant between Me and you, and your future offspring throughout their generations, as an everlasting covenant to be your God and the God of your offspring after you. And to you and your future offspring, I will give the land where you are residing — all the land of Canaan — as an eternal possession, and I will be their God.”' Genesis 17:7-8

Do you notice that it says "I will be their God" in verse 8? This covenant was made with a physical and spiritual promise.

If you have read in the 4th chapter in Romans, then you will find that the ones who receive this promise are not just Abraham's descendants. It is to the Jews and Gentiles.

Have you heard the new song by Kari Jobe and Cody Carnes? Take a few minutes to listen to this song (and try not to weep!!)

May His Favor be upon you

And a Thousand Generations

Your Family and your Children

And their Children

And their Children

May His Presence go before you

And Behind you,

And Beside you

All around you and within you

He is with you

He is with you

In the Morning, in the Evening

In your Coming

And your Going

In your Weeping and Rejoicing

He is for you, He is for you

He is for you, He is for you

He’s for you, He is for you

He is for you, He is for you

'The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. "So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them."' Numbers 6:24-27

Dear friends, be reminded of this beautiful promise that God Himself gives to His people. To you - personally.

As a kid, I learned about stories like Abraham and Isaac, about Noah and the Ark, and David and Goliath. These stories helped sculpt my life. However, today I was struck by the story of Abraham and the covenant and blessing that God gives to him and his descendants.

'Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his Seed. He does not say “and to seeds,” as though referring to many, but referring to one, and to your Seed, who is Christ.' Galatians 3:16

The first part of the verse says that the promises were made to Abraham and to his Seed. Why is the "S" capitalized, you may ask? Because it is referring to the One who is the Messiah. Jesus Christ is the promised descendant who will bless all nations. 

Christ means "anointed one" or "chosen one."

The covenant of the Savior, Jesus Christ, was the promise God made to Abraham. We know that God first promised a Savior to Adam and Eve, 2,000 years before Abraham. Another 2,000 years after Abraham, God fulfilled that great covenant with all mankind.

Sometimes we ask God for things that we may think we need right this very moment, but God knows best.

He will answer you. It may be in a couple of years or 2,000 years from now. But He is faithful, He cannot deny Himself. He will never let you down. He will always be with you. He loves you more than anyone else will.

As His child, remind yourself of that promise He has with you. Do not fear for tomorrow. You are a descendant through His Seed. Isn't it wonderful to be a child of His?

Thank you for reading! I pray that this encouraged you and reminded you that you are blessed, regardless of this present time. God is in control and He fulfills His promises.