Humbled. Just in time for Easter.

Week Four into COVID-19 has me humbled. I realized this after I prayed one morning, “What do you want to do in me during this pandemic? How do you want my heart and life to change?”

Grow in humility was God’s answer.

Let’s face it. This pandemic, this virus, this microscopic thing has humbled all of us. It has gutted the stock market, shut down schools, and motivated us to wear home-sewn masks lined with coffee filters. We are literally forced to face it.

I admit that I hated the idea of wearing a mask. That’s for people in foreign countries, not Americans, right? Besides that, if the fit is loose it fogs my glasses. Most importantly, I like to smile at people. While at Kroger yesterday, seeing so many people wearing masks brought tears to my eyes. It felt humbling to see our human frailty.

Yeah, this virus has forced us to fall in line like snacks on display in the Good-to-Go section at Kroger. We are wiping off our groceries with Clorox. We are wearing gloves and we are steering clear of each other. The comical elbow bumps of March are so passe. We are more serious – and humbled – than ever.

The fact is, this virus kills in such a ruthless manner. We’ve heard the stories of those who died without their loved ones there to comfort them. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to die like that. When I die, I want Michael strumming his guitar while his sisters and my grandkids sing me into heaven. Give me a face mask quick. I’ll learn to smile with my eyes.

What about you? How is this pandemic, and isolation, and uncertainty humbling you? How are you leaning on God in new ways?

It may be financial losses have humbled your plans to buy and sell.

It may be your critiques of teachers, homeschoolers, or stay-at-home moms have turned into mad respect now that you’re with your kids all day.

It may be you are single or widowed, and being socially isolated is another humbling test of your stamina and faith.

It may be you need to pray for the government. If you once wished for Trump to stumble through a crisis, you’re now humbled because it impacts you and those you love.

What about watching low-wage workers lose their jobs, risk their lives or succumb to Covid-19 while serving the public? If you comfortably work from the safety of home in your jammies, they humble you. Maybe you now regret your scorn toward those who lack a college education. Maybe you’re ashamed about the times you barked at the check-out clerk for being slow.

Whatever the humbling, it’s good for us, and it’s just in time for Easter. We need to do some spiritual handwashing and Holy Spirit sanitizing. We need time this weekend for the spiritual reflection that eludes us when we are out and about, chasing new clothes and chocolate bunnies.

Jesus Christ our Savior, who ran a bread line to humble even the most selfless nonprofit staffer, modeled humility in service to untouchables and in pursuit of God’s glory. May we all emerge from our personal quarantombs a little bit more like Him.

And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say,

“God opposes the proud
    but gives grace to the humble.”[a]

So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.

James 4.6-10 (NLT)

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