Our perception of this current crisis that we face, like all others, changes when it gets personal. When we personally know someone affected by a disaster it resonates very differently within our soul. We may care for people in general and have sympathy for their plight, but things change greatly when “one of our own” is hurting or in danger.
When this virus hit China, I prayed for the people there, but my great concern was for Danielle, a young woman from our church who is teaching at a school there. I was privileged to perform her parents wedding and have known and loved her for her entire life. It changed the way I was praying. When Israel was feeling the impact of the virus I was concerned for Robynne, a good friend that lives there and prayed consistently for that nation.
This morning I learned that David Deford was in ICU on a ventilator and had tested positive for Covid-19. Our church has supported David for many years as a missionary to Native Americans. Christy and I have shared meals with him and his sweet wife Becky (who is currently quarantined) on several occasions. My concern level for him is high and my prayers are intensified for them, but also for others who are in a similar situation.
Relationship matters! It changes our view on many circumstances. That is why I am so glad we have a God of relationship. As Father, Son, and Spirit he has existed for all eternity in relationship; and he has invited us to be part of that relationship. He sent his son (who willingly came) to be a sacrifice for our sin so that we could live in relationship with him. He promises: “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, (Jn. 1:12 ESV). Jesus instructed us who have placed our trust in him to pray to God as “our father.”
In these troubled days it is important to understand that we don’t have a God who is far off, instead we have one who desire to be in relationship with us. Having trusted his son, we have been adopted into his family. As he sees our pain, fear, and anxiety, he is moved because we are family and relationship matters!