(A five minute read)
I have a tremendous opportunity, perhaps the greatest I’ve ever been offered. My false gods, my idols, are falling on their faces one by one.
Let me explain.
Because I was treated for cancer in 2019, I‘m considered a ‘Vulnerable Adult’ by the National Health Service, and thought likely to have an unpleasant ride should I contract the Covid-19 virus.
They deem my chance of death to be higher than yours.
So, I’m now locked in my home for 12 weeks. I have 81 days of confinement remaining, as of this writing.
No matter that I don’t believe I’m more vulnerable than you.
No matter that my understanding of Scripture proves that I have authority over this virus. (‘Curse you, Covid-19, in Jesus’ name! Back to the devil that spawned you!)
This is also notwithstanding my revelation last December that I’m healed of cancer.
As my daughter Brenna put it, ‘On paper, you should be (considered vulnerable). Age over 60, recently off chemo- and radiotherapies, history of excessive vice.* Medical experts don’t account for (divine) healing, for better or worse.’
Yeah, yeah. No matter that even during chemotherapy my wife got sick twice and I didn’t rate a sniffle. I didn’t even get to complain. Instead, I got a text:
NHS CORONAVIRUS SERVICE: We have identified that you’re someone at risk of severe illness if you catch Coronavirus. Please remain at home for a minimum of 12 weeks. Home is the safest place for you. Staying in helps you stay well and that will help the NHS too. You can open a window, but do not leave your home.
Clearly that last clause is to discourage me from pitching out head-first in suicidal despair from my upstairs flat.
(Insert sanctimonious Christian grumble here)
Oh well, God bless the NHS for their care and consideration, even if they haven’t caught up with my reality. I shall comply. It could likely save others.
On the up-side, I now rate preferential treatment for home delivery slots from my local supermarket and pharmacy.
But I digress badly. This isn’t about special delivery due to the Wuhan Flu, it’s about turning away from false gods.
My false gods are falling on their faces, confronted in this season of isolation by the one true God, maker of heaven and earth. As they recede, He grows nearer.
Here’s my opportunity then: Turn away from the false gods that I love so well, so that when I come out of House Arrest I’ll have no desire for them any more.
It’s like the account in 1 Samuel 5. The Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant, which Israel had brought out onto the battlefield. But they made the mistake of setting the ark inside the temple of their god, Dagon.
‘And when the people of Ashdod arose early in the morning, there was Dagon, fallen on its face to the earth before the ark of the Lord.’ (1Sam 5:3 NKJV) They stood Dagon back up again and the next morning they not only found it face-down in front of the ark, but with its head and both its hands cut off.
That’s what’s happening here in my room. I’m alone with the presence of the living God, Creator of heaven and earth. My idols are falling one by one at His feet. I’ll share a few examples with you:
- My need to know, with too-frequent checking of news and opinion websites.
- Questioning what the financial markets will do.
- Pursuing what the medical experts think today (versus yesterday).
- Having the freedom to go where I wish in the world.
- Major League Baseball (the hardest of all – a personal passion since 1961).
One by one these are all crashing to the floor, heads and hands torn asunder, unimportant in the face of a God who heals, a God who loves. They cannot rise again of their own accord.
The critical question is whether I’ll be short-sighted enough to stand them up again when this is all over.
Or will I leave them earthbound, where they belong?
* My story of excessive vice is detailed in my memoir, Masterpiece (A Love Story) to be published in early April, 2020)
(Image by meesh, via Wikimedia Commons)