The spread of the coronavirus has, in many ways, made us feel that we are losing control. Our schedules have changed. Our plans have been cancelled. Technology we thought would protect us has proved powerless. No one knows what will happen tomorrow. We feel that control has been lost.
But this is all an illusion. We haven’t lost control; we never had it to begin with. Jesus taught us that we don’t have the power to turn one hair on our heads white or black and that all our worrying couldn’t add a single hour to the length of our lives (Matthew 5:36; Luke 12:25). James reminds us that we are merely “a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14). We are no less in control of our lives than we were before the pandemic began.
But neither is God. The reason we haven’t lost control is because we never had it. The reason God hasn’t lost control is because … he hasn’t lost control. God is still enthroned on high, ruling over every detail of life. He is sovereign over all that takes place in this world, good or bad (Isaiah 45:7).
And the comforting thought for Christians is that the God who is in control loves us as his own dear children. Romans 8:28 assures us that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” This doesn’t mean, of course, that hard times will never happen. But it does mean that, even in the hardest of times, God is at work in our lives for our eternal good – to conform us to the image of his Son and to prepare us for glory.