My faith in God has usually been strong, but since the virus pandemic, I am fortunate to be blessed with more peace than fear.
Just before COVID-19 started taking hold in the world, I had started reading a series of books called Left Behind by Tim Lahaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. As businesses including my church began to shut their doors, I showed up at my church’s office with a request to visit the church library to obtain the remaining books of the series. Ecstatic, I left that day with the remaining five books of the series.
The Left Behind series is based on the book of Revelation at the end of the Bible that tells the story of the end times of the world. What an amazing reading drama I was experiencing as the COVID-19 modern tale set forth. Spooky was the empty stores, restaurants and streets, and the books became alive to me. The writers based all of their research and story on their interpretation of actual scripture. This does not mean that the end times will be exactly as they described, but it sure put a clearer picture before my eyes.
Now, in case you are unaware, the book of Revelation is the story of John, who saw a vision of the end times unfold and he describes them to us. The book series was written by two men who are experienced scholars, educators and writers of many New York Times best selling books. They write of their interpretation of the book of Revelation, beginning with the return of Jesus, where he “raptures” the believers of the world and they disappear wherever they were at that time. Planes crash, cars crash, and people are traumatized as family and friends disappear.
The series continues to reveal the Antichrist, the Tribulation and finally the Glorious Appearing of Christ at the end. There is a lot more to it, of course, but I won’t go into it here.
My point is that the reading of the books at the same time as the virus outbreak made it more real to me – that there will eventually be an end times, and we are experiencing what some of it could feel like, to a certain extent. The world has come to a general halt in the space of a couple of weeks, bringing out the worst, but mostly the best in people. It has strengthened my own faith, calmed my own fear, and helped me to see this time with different eyes. Believe it or not, God is in control.
The feature painting is called Beyond, Beside and Within, based on my personal vision of what the Holy Spirit could look like.