During the current adjustments most of us have made, the question "have we learned anything?" has crept into many a mind. Some will argue the lesson is how easily civil liberties are set aside. Others will argue that we have been shown just how fragile our image of security really was. Many thoughts about potential lessons fall somewhere in the middle. I have heard the term "time out" to explain what God has done to humanity. Just like parents who send their child to take a "time out" to ponder the behavior that led to being sent to the corner, I have read that God sent us all on a "time out" because of the way we were behaving. If that is the case, what possible lessons have we learned?
I have seen several photographs that show the difference in the air quality before and after the world wide shut down. The comparisons are amazing. The photographs seek to demonstrate a silver lining to what we are going through. Like any potential theory, there are detractors that insist the effects are misleading and temporary at best. The view is that once things resume normal operations, the air quality will plunge back to its hazy mess in the regions where the photos were taken. Whatever the scientific truth may be, the fact is that the pictures do show us how God intended things to look like and what our actions as a species have done to that plan. The photos can be thought of as a sharp reminder from God: "this is how I designed it and that is what you have stained it". I think of a beautiful masterpiece that has been sullied because someone was careless and spilled coffee on it.
As we move through our lives, many of us forget what God intended for us and in our carelessness, we end up staining HIs design with behavior and attitudes that mar the beauty of His design. What can also happen is that due to what is happening around us, our eyes will focus on our discomfort, inconveniences, set backs, and unwelcome adjustments.
When it comes to unwelcome adjustments, Israel faced several. One of the hardest was the "time out" they had in Babylon. During the beginning stages, the prophet Jeremiah wrote a letter to the exiles. In it he shared God's word to them. We read in Jeremiah 29:11 [For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare, and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.]
A potential lesson during this "time out" for us is to remember that God's long-term plan for us is a beautiful thing. Whatever thoughts may be generated by our present circumstances. Rather than dwell of the negatives, let us ponder the beauty of God's works, His plan for our lives, and the marvel of His promises to us.
Have a blessed day remembering God's plan for us.