Written by: Tendai Chitsike
Article source: JOY! Magazine
The short book of Haggai is an account of God speaking during a time of hardship due to famine. CS Lewis wisely asserted the following: “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” For Haggai’s Israel it was famine. For the world, especially many parts of Europe and America, God is speaking through His megaphone in a time of a global pandemic. A key phrase that Haggai declares to the Israelites should also be applied to us. Haggai 1:5 charges them and us: “Give careful thought to your ways.”
“Only one life, twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”
A unique opportunity for the church
As I write this column, our nation – along with many others around the world – is in lockdown. With nowhere to go, and every single live mass gathering event suspended, now is a unique opportunity for us to heed Haggai’s advice. For Haggai’s Israel, their primary concern was their fine houses, while the house of God was in ruin. It took a famine to get their attention. For us, this virus pandemic presents an opportunity for us to similarly evaluate our lives. How much of our time and money are given over to things that are of no eternal significance? How often do we step back from worldly pursuits and ask whether we are truly seeking God’s Kingdom first?
We only have one life on earth
At this point, the radical life of missionary CT Studd comes to mind. Born into a wealthy family, he was left with a handsome inheritance at the age of twenty-five and was selected to play cricket for England. Forsaking all these for the mission field of Asia and Central Africa, he penned a poem in which each stanza ends with the following lines: “Only one life, twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.” May we live similarly.
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