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COVID-19: Are We There Yet? How Much Longer? [Part 3]

COVID-19: Are We There Yet? How Much Longer? [Part 3]
Written by Patti Greene

COVID-19: It’s Time to Take God’s Word to Heart [Part 1]

COVID-19: It’s Time to Take God’s Word and Prayer to Heart [Part 2]

Once upon a time, our family lived in St. Louis, Missouri. It was during that time when my husband and I first became acquainted with the phrase, “Are we there yet?” In the summer of 1994, while living in the Midwest, we vacationed in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan. On that vacation, that phrase “Are we there yet?” was a constant with our three children!

Of course, we were “car traveling” before there were iPads, iphones, or videos to keep the kids occupied. I was the mom who checked out baskets of library books for our trip instead! Nothing was more difficult than driving long distances with squirmy kids in the car yelling, “Are we there yet?” It was annoying. Very annoying!

That phrase, along with its partner phrase “How much longer?” is usually asked by ones wanting to know when we will reach a destination or an endpoint—like going from Point A to Point B and wanting to know how much longer until we are there or the “When will it end” mentality.

How Much Longer?

An adult may ask similar questions today—in our current COVID-19 epoch.

  • How much longer will the Coronavirus last?
  • How much longer will we have to social distance?
  • How much longer until I can get my hair dyed again?

“Longer” seemed to be the reoccurring word here, so I looked up a few Bible verses using the word “longer” or words related to “longerto get a Biblical glimpse of the “How much longer” or “Are we there yet” phrases. I am not a Bible scholar, so please use the comment section to correct me if my thoughts or translations are way off base. I speak as a layperson, but I did use Strong’s Concordance!

Bible Verses and Thoughts

And he [Moses] said unto them, I am a hundred and twenty years old this day; I can no more go out and come in: also, the Lord hath said unto me, thou shalt not go over this Jordan. My grace is enough for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Thought: We get weary and wonder how much longer we will go on living like this?

How many are the days of thy servant? when wilt thou execute judgment on them that persecute me? (Psalm 119:84)

Thought: How much longer will we have to serve the Lord? And, am I making the most of my time? Pastor Charles Stanley recently posted, “Jesus wasn’t crucified so we could sit in pews each Sunday and listen to sermons. He has specific tasks for each of us to achieve during our lifetime.” ¹

So that the Lord could no longer bear, because of the evil of your doings, and because of the abominations which ye have committed; therefore, is your land a desolation, and an astonishment, and a curse, without an inhabitant, as at this day. (Jeremiah 44:22)

Thought: God has thoughts about how much longer He will put up with evil.

Bible Verses and Translates

For thus saith the Lord GOD, how much more when I send my four sore judgments upon Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the noisome beast, and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast? (Ezekiel 14:21)

Translates: God sometimes is tired of putting up with us.

And sware by him that liveth forever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer. Revelation 10:6

Translates: An end is coming.

These verses speak to me. They say, we are weary and are wondering how much longer we will have to put up with the repercussions of the Coronavirus. We question which Christian leaders we should believe in or listen to—not wanting to be swayed by false teachers or doctrines. We speculate whether COVID-19 is a foreshadowing of prophecy because the Lord is tired of our sinfulness. And lastly, we are reminded that there will be an end to our “shelter-in-place” period and are we prepared for it?

Face the “How Much Longer” Seasons of Life with God

One of the hardest things I go through in life has been the “How much longer” seasons:

  • God, how much longer until I will feel whole after my employment let me go?
  • Lord, when will my broken heart be healed?
  • Jesus, how much longer will I ruminate over an unrealistic possibility?

I tend to hang on to thoughts, desires, and concerns way longer than I should. Sometimes I know they are spiritual warfare attacks. Sometimes they occur from living in this secular world. Sometimes they are exacerbated on account of my personality—either the personality the Lord has given me OR maybe the personality traits He is trying to change in me.

As I have grown in my walk with the Lord, I have learned that all these worries need be laid at the feet of Jesus. He is the one that will give us peace and rescue our hearts from the terrible thoughts of “How much longer?”

Have you ever had thoughts so deep that you can’t share them with anyone else?

I have!

We hide them in ourselves. Often, we endure this emotional pain alone—not wanting anyone to think less of us. Sometimes, with me, it is because I don’t want to appear weak to my church family. Yes, I have said it. And, I know I am not alone in occasionally thinking this.

There are some thoughts that should NOT be shared! It is up to us to discern the difference. But remember, before talking to others, it is always best that Christ should be our first source in unburdening ourselves. He will show us if we need to share our concerns with others or not.

With the Coronavirus in full swing, you may be experiencing some of these deep thoughts or burdens right now!

  • How much longer will I be burdened with the kids out of school?
  • My husband is working from home. How much longer Lord?
  • Our family is struggling financially. How much more can I take?
  • How much longer will we be quarantined?

How to Function through the “Are We There Yet” Seasons of Life?

Strive for Contentment

We all desire contentment. As believers, we need to be content with what we have, and we learn contentment through our trials—whether it be a job loss or being thrust into “homeschooling” unwillingly. Erik Raymond in Chasing Contentment says, “Contentment is the inward, gracious quiet spirit that joyfully rests in God’s providence.” ² In Philippians 4:11, the Apostle Paul says, “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”

Respond Responsibly and Biblically

We must act responsibly and Biblically. When we abide in Jesus Christ and anticipate Heaven before the state of affairs on Earth, we are better able to honor our Lord and other people. When our lives are surrendered to Christ, learning to be joyful regardless of our situation is the result. I am not saying our situations always dissolve. They usually don’t, but we can enjoy the journey we are on until we take our trip to Heaven. This may include repentance and change on our part. When we pray and call out to our Heavenly Father to align our will with His will, Biblical responsibility may involve encountering what Matthew 7:3 says, “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” And, dealing with that takes effort!

Let God’s Word Speak Supernaturally

Did you know that we can’t depend on pastors, teachers, religious magazines, books, and online services to be the only source of our spiritual growth? We must continually read the Word of God. Furthermore, before you read, pray and ask God to speak to you through His Word. Look with anticipation for the Godhead–God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit–to enlighten you.

Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. (Jeremiah 33:3)

Accept Christ

All the above is dependent on our relationship with Jesus Christ. If you don’t know Jesus as your Savior, you can commit your life to Him right now. You don’t just “say” any old prayer. Our prayer to the Lord should express our sinfulness while asking Jesus to forgive us for our wrongdoings, and place our trust in Him to come into our life as our Savior. Pastor Greg Laurie recently said in his Easter 2020 sermon that, “Some of you might need to change your eternal address from Hell to Heaven.” ³ We do that by accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior. (John 3:16)

Fast Forward to Our Current Situation with COVID-19

Just reading the news headlines is tiresome and tedious right now.

  • How much longer will we be inside—and then what happens?
  • How long will the Coronavirus Outbreak and Shutdown last?
  • Life-or-Death Hospital Decisions Come with Threat of Lawsuits
  • Let’s Have Christian Woodstock! US Pastor Says Despite Anti-Coronavirus Quarantine Orders
  • Personalities that thrive in isolation and what we can all learn from time alone
  • The Digital Divide

God is Sufficient

Dealing with “Are We There Yet?” and “How Much Longer?”, I have personally asked questions like . . .

  • When will [it] ever end?
  • How much longer do I have to endure this until Your answers are made clear?
  • When will You show me why? How about now?

Subsequently, I have learned that when I am weak, He is strong. Our questions may remain unanswered. Thus, we must learn to trust that there are mysteries and secrets God keeps to Himself forever or until the timing is right to share it with us.

By accepting His strength, His sufficiency, and His all-knowing qualities, we can get through these difficult times with graciousness and humility. Yes, we will fail, but we have a God who loves us and accepts our weaknesses. It is the LORD who helps and sustains us.

And he said unto me, My grace is enough for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Conclusion

In Deeper than Tears, Oswald Chambers’ short blurb is good for us to remember as we face this Coronavirus and other situations in our lives.

How many of us get into a panic when we are faced by physical desolation, by death, or war, injustice, poverty, disease? All these in all their force will never turn to panic the one who believes in the absolute sovereignty of his Lord. The thing that preserves a man from panic in his relationship to God: if he is only related to himself and his own courage, there may come a moment when his courage gives out. Don’t be disturbed today with thoughts about tomorrow: leave tomorrow alone, and bank in confidence on God’s organizing of what you do not see. ⁴

Bible Verses: Above

Prayer

My Heavenly Lord, as the world faces times of uncertainty and awe, let my feet remain staid on You! Let me trust You, follow You, and depend on You through this unusual season of life. Let me rest assured knowing that You knew this virus was coming and You know when it will end. Give me Your insights as I wait on You. It isn’t over yet. I don’t know when it will be over. But, thank you for peace as I await Your timing. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

God Bless.

greenenpastures.org

Central Houston Inspirational Writers Alive! Associate Member; BibleGateway Blogger, Member; SBC, Church Member

Edited by E. Johnson.

Works Cited

¹ Stanley, Charles. The Cross The Believer’s Motivation. In Touch Ministries with Charles Stanley.  11 April 2020. [Web]

² Raymond, Erik. Chasing Contentment: Trusting God in a Discontented Age. Wheaton: Crossway, 2017.

³ Laurie, Greg. Easter 2020. 12 April 2020, Greg Laurie Live: Harvest Church. Live Sermon.

⁴ Chambers, Oswald. Deeper Than Tears: Promises of Comfort and Hope. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2007. [Originally published in Run Today’s Run.]

Bible Verses from the King James Version.

Books by Patti Greene 

Christian Caregiving

Christian Caregiving: Practical Advice for a Happy Ending

Devotional Prayer Journals

Answer Me: Developing a Heart for Prayer

Anchor Me: Laying a Foundation in Bible Study and Prayer

Awaken Me: Growing Deeper in Bible Study and Prayer

About the author

Patti Greene

Patti Greene is the author of three outstanding devotional prayer journals, Answer Me, Anchor Me, and Awaken Me and a book titled "Christian Caregiving: Practical Advice for a Happy Ending." Patti earned a bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and pursued graduate studies in religious education and library science spending two years as a second-grade teacher. After spending 12 years as a stay-at-home mom, Greene spent 18 more years as a school librarian in St. Louis, Missouri and Houston, Texas. When not writing books or blogs, Greene spends her time caregiving, reading, researching, and hanging out with her family and friends. Patti and her husband have three adult children and five grandchildren. Visit her blog at GreenePastures.org.

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