One More Thing I’m Not Thankful for This Thanksgiving

For 2018 and 2019, I wrote about things I’m not thankful for at Thanksgiving. And this Thanksgiving, I bet you can guess the one thing I’m not thankful for.

The coronavirus.

Oh, COVID-19

Thank you for changing our plans and dashing our expectations. Thank you for shutting down our churches and shutting down our schools and shutting down our businesses. Thank you for sending us home from work—both temporarily and permanently. Thank you for cancelling the weddings and graduations and other milestone events that we had been planning for forever.

Look at the mess you have made, COVID-19. Look at all the hearts you have broken and the relationships you have ended and the dreams you have crushed. Look at the businesses you have forced into bankruptcy and the political leaders you have ruined. Look at the fear and the anxiety you have caused for so many people. Why did you do this to us?

God, why did You do this to us?

Isn’t that the real question we’re asking? Sure, we can put the blame on the coronavirus. But it can’t answer our questions or demands. God can. He knows why the coronavirus has affected so many lives—for the ones who have been sick and for the ones who haven’t. All of us have been affected by this disease, and He knows why.

He Doesn’t See Chaos

I doubt we’re going to find out that reason in this life, but I do want us to think about it for a second. God knows why the coronavirus happened. It isn’t a random accident. It isn’t fate. It isn’t chance. There is a reason why it happened, and God knows it.

So praise Him that He knows.

When the political leaders in the news don’t have answers, God is sovereign. When the local officials in your city are confused, God is steady. When your school administrators or business leaders or church staff are unsure, God is stable.

Friends, don’t get me wrong here. I am not saying that God caused the coronavirus. I am saying that God allowed the coronavirus because He allowed sinful humans with a freewill to choose sin. (I won’t get into the blame game of who caused the coronavirus because that’s a discussion for another time.) As a pastor recently explained to me, the Fall caused a lot of unpleasant consequences for sinful humanity, including illness and death. But I believe God can still use this messy situation for good…if we let Him.

[Joseph speaking to his brothers] “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them. (Genesis 50:20-21 ESV)

Friends, the coronavirus doesn’t look like chaos in God’s eyes. He knows every single person whose life has changed because of this illness. If nothing else, let our months of dealing with the coronavirus teach us to trust Him more. Fallen people do fallen things. But God isn’t fallen like us, and He is working behind the scenes in big ways.

And I’m thankful for that this Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving!

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