Post by the Husband
“having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised with Him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,” (Colossians 2:12-13)
As we go through this current crises, the word “unprecedented” has been used on multiple occasions by world leaders, medical experts and journalists. Perhaps for once, it is not hyperbole to say “unprecedented” as it is historical fact that the amount of social upheaval has never happened at this scale before in modern history.
With the impact of of this pandemic touching the edges of the globe and in every industry at the macro, micro-level, each individual is made to question the very fundamental questions of life. Like, what do I really need vs want? Who are the most important people to me? How much money do I need to survive? What will happen to those around me if I die prematurely? Many Christians will hopefully be asking themselves – what “god” am I truly serving?
Whether it’s the worship of comfort – or the worship of money, there are idols in our lives that need to be destroyed.
Ultimately God’s fire can burn in our hearts so that our sinful nature can be “buried with Him in baptism”. We do indeed need to die to those things that we were in fact holding so dearly to.
As the shaking of my own life has been happening – I realise that through times of crises – what shows up in me was what is already there before. In another word, there is no amazing transformation occurring due to this crises. If anything, it just solidifies whatever convictions and values I had before. If I loved my family before – I love them more now. If I was a bit selfish before, I’m showing even more selfishness now. If I was kind before, I display more kindness now. So whatever character traits that had been built up over a life-time manifests itself all the more in a crises.
So yes, ugliness does show up in my own heart. As much as I mock the “panic-buyers” – I was fearful of not having enough for my family. As much as I thought I cared for the people of the world who are truly going through financial hardship – those people who as they say live “hand to mouth”, I was more worried about my own ability to provide for my family. And so it went on. My ugliness was only amplified by the crises. I was hoping for something more beautiful in my heart, and yet it was sorely lacking. Sure there were glimpses of goodness put there by God: the desire to pray for the nations, the love I felt for the people around me, but overall I’ve been deeply disappointed with self.
Hence I am glad that God reveals such sinfulness so that it can all get “buried with Him in baptism”. I certainly don’t want to amplify the ugliness any more than the crises has already.
Yet, the word of God doesn’t just stop at burying our sinfulness. If that was all that happened to believers, it would just mean that we died, and ceased to exist. We just drop all the badness in our hearts at the foot of the cross, die, and then basically cease to exist. But the next few words bring a hope that is miraculous in nature: “You were also… “
The key word is “also”. Being buried into the ground would be the right thing for my sinful heart. All that selfishness, all that escapism, all that… well you know – sin. But that wasn’t all that happened when Christ saved me — I was “also”… also what?
“Also raised with Him through faith”
But it wasn’t the “old” me that was raised with Him through faith – it was a different “me”.
God “made alive together with Him”. I have been resurrected — made alive WITH Him. So Christ is now with me and my nature is now Christ-like.
So this crises is not going to just reveal that I was “dead” in my trespasses, but through faith believing in the miraculous working of God, I am now raised and alive in Christ!
So I will not accept the rubbishy selfishness, fearfulness, cowardice that was what characterised me, but I am raised the Godly, faith-filled, loving Christ-like man that God has resurrected me to be.
My prayer for you my friend is that through this unprecedented trial, through the shaking of your world, God would not just bury the old you, but that He would raise the Christ-like believer that He has created by His amazing power.
You have been raised again. You are no longer dead; you are now alive.
Now stand, walk, and speak as the child of God that you are.