Lots of people today are posting their reactions to coronavirus. They are writing from the perspective of this life. What if they were to write 100 years from today? How do people in eternity think about the hardships they faced? Here are 3 fictional Facebook postings from those who are either in hell or heaven:
@hengcastintohell: God, I hate you. You were never there for me in my suffering. You let my wife die from coronavirus, and we couldn’t even be with her to say a final goodbye. I lost my business and had to start all over. How could you expect me to believe you are a good and loving God if you treat me like that?
@yangforeverinhell: God, I’m so mad at you! You let me live to 85. I had a supportive family and no shortage of money. But because of my stubbornness and selfishness I am unfit to enter heaven. If you had sent me cancer or divorce or unemployment, maybe I would have been broken of my selfishness and turned to you. But you sent me so much abundance that I never really felt a need for you. Why didn’t you do more to show me how broken I was? It’s not fair!
@wangblessedinheaven: Thank you, God, that you were so merciful to me in my darkest hours. When our daughter passed away I was so heartsick that I could barely talk to you. I wept and wept. But you kept listening to all my anguish and never turned me away. Finally you brought me to a place of peace, knowing we will be together with our daughter forever. Thank you for giving me a tender heart to follow to you through the hard times. And now what a joy to see you face-to-face and find all those temporary sufferings finally ended!
Political leaders around the world today face a no-win situation. If they open up for business, people will be angry because it will lead to more death. If they don’t open up, people will be angry because the economy will suffer and jobs will be lost. No matter what they do, there will be fallout.
God faces a similar situation. If he sends us suffering, we may doubt his love and power and reject him. If he sends us peace and prosperity, we may feel self-satisfied and sense no need of God at all. Since God knows everything, he knows just the right amount of blessing that will let us be aware of his love, and just the right amount of suffering that will let us know we need him. But we don’t know all of this. We can let any suffering he sends harden our hearts and any blessing he sends make us feel self-sufficient. As long as we remain on earth we lack the perspective of eternity, and are likely to be highly critical of God’s ways.
That doesn’t faze him. He doesn’t need our votes to stay in office, and he doesn’t need our approval to feel good about himself. He knows someday you will write a post like one of the three above. For your sake, I hope it’s like the third.
God knows that someday we will understand the truth of Romans 8:28, “All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his will.” If you love God, your blessings and hardships are specifically tailored to bring about the best possible outcome for you. But notice this promise is only for those who love God. If you don’t love him, any suffering or blessing can result in your eternal separation from God. What we need is neither prosperity nor hardship; what we need are hearts softened towards God.
If you were to write God a short post today, what would you say? What would it take to have a heart like @wangblessedinheaven?