We’re getting used to seeing scenes of medical personnel masked head to toe in protective garb to avoid infection from the sick they are tending. But our current health crisis is hitting home as it impacts our livelihoods.
Just weeks ago, a record number of people were gainfully employed. Now, unless their job has been labeled “essential,” many have been laid off. Even if that layoff is politely called a “furlough,” eventually bills need to be paid. Work weighs heavily on our minds these days.
If ever we needed wise and dedicated medical doctors, microbiologists, economists, elected government leaders—and scores of others like them—it is now. These people not only deserve our respect and admiration, they are in need of our prayers in these days of pandemic.
All of these individuals are, in Martin Luther’s words, “masks for God.” That is, God uses them for his good purposes. He hides behind their work to accomplish his own work on earth. Jesus teaches us to ask God for daily bread, but what he gives us instead is a farmer, a miller, and a baker to supply the bread we need to live.
We pray that God will rescue us from this pandemic and heal our land, and he gives us biochemists, nurses, and doctors to test for new infections, tend the sick, and develop a vaccine and more effective treatments. True, he gives help and daily sustenance freely to everyone with or without our prayer, but he wants us to ask him for provision so we remember its source and receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.
Working from home
God is at work constantly to care tenderly for all of his children. Remember that truth in these trying days. As vital as your income is for your household, your job is not just an occupation or means of livelihood. It’s a holy calling from God himself.
You are a mask for God. He’s working through you to care for other people and his whole creation. In his good time you’ll be back on the job, if you’ve been shut down for now. In the meantime, in these stay-at-home days, remember you have other work to do—you aren’t just biding time till you go back to work. God wants to work through you right now to benefit other people. Are you a husband, wife, father, mother, son or daughter? Are you a friend or neighbor? Do the work you’ve been given to do in those holy callings. Through you, God is at work each and every day.
So if you’re starting to feel a bit edgy, like you’re going stir-crazy while working from home, remember God is still mightily at work through you in all this mess.
God at work
God needs no personal protective equipment, but he hides himself in you to bless all his children. You are his mask as you simply live your life in love for Jesus’ sake:
Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.Colossians 3:17
This guest post was written by Harold L. Senkbeil, author of The Care of Souls: Cultivating a Pastor’s Heart (Lexham Press, 2019).