By Aaron Bower, Pastor of The Commons Coffeehouse & Bookstore
As the manager of the Commons Bookstore, I get access to lots of free books. In most cases, the “free” doesn’t outweigh the time it’s going to take to read something that I may not have interest in, but when Crossway publishing send me a link to a free book by John Piper called Coronavirus and Christ, I stopped what I was doing, and loaded it up (you can too, links below).
If you’re anything like me, I can get a little weary in this season where I’m missing my parents and extended family, nothing is normal, my kids are asking me for help with advanced math, and – left to my own wandering disposition – my hear fluctuates between faith, fear and frustration over the course of a small period of time.
And then I turn on the news, scroll “the socials” and find that every report seems to contradict the others. Instability. Contradiction. Name-calling. Finger pointing. Suffering. Hunger. Death. The list really goes on, but you’re living this along with me, and I don’t really need to do that to you.
I found Piper’s book to be quite sobering but full of hope, firmly planted upon Christ and the scripture. He is a great thinker and I love hearing him teach and preach, so I opted for the audio book.
He dives quickly and unapologetically into the Character of God, his rule over creation and helps re-frame our mind to remembering once again that God is always good, and that there is no part of him that finds our situation a surprise. He rules and reigns over all of EVERYTHING, and in the midst of that journey we can find peace. Because he is CONSTANT, and SURE – never violating his own character and always pursuing “all things after the counsel of his own will.”
In the second half of this short work he offers some suggestions on “What is God doing through the Coronavirus.” He admits that he cannot possibly grasp even a small part of the full answer but spends nearly half of this book on this topic. I found it comforting and reassuring.
This current situation is new for us, but in church and human history it is old. These types of situations have existed before us. BUT, God is faithful to his character, and to his plan to ultimately make all things new.