Covid, Revival, and the gaze of the church

It was Wednesday morning, August 19th, and I woke up with a headache and feeling like I had a chest cold. By the next day, it felt like full-on flu, but unlike any flu I had ever had. On Friday I got tested and on Sunday that test came back positive for Covid-19.

The next week was the sickest I’ve ever been. It was the flu on steroids. My joints felt like they were full of broken glass. I had horrible night sweats, a constant headache, a cough that would not quit, and less than zero energy. I couldn’t even think straight. I had more than one serious thought that I might die from this virus.

On day 10 the turn around came. Not a huge turn, more like a slight curve, but enough to give me hope. My joints stopped aching so bad, and I was able to come out of my room for a bit and walk through the house. One walk-through and then I had to go back to bed, but it was something. With each passing day it has gotten better, and today, my only symptoms are some shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, and a narly brain fog that sometimes makes it hard to focus, hard to communicate well, and hard to remember things. The cough is rare, if ever, now. No body pain. Some occasional congestion. I’ve read that it could be months yet before I feel back to normal. That’s ok. I honestly feel lucky to have survived it at all. I am very fortunate to have a husband who took such good care of me, even though he too tested positive. His symptoms lasted a day and then were gone and he was back to normal, except for the fatigue.

I also have a lifegroup of women who cared for us both for the first two weeks, by dropping off a meal every day. I usually find it very difficult to accept help like that, but there were days that I don’t think we would have eaten if not for that meal. I could barely stand up for more than a couple of minutes, and both of us were too fatigued to move much at all at times. I am so grateful for a community of women who jumped in to do what they could, dropping off food at our doorstep every day. Oh, another symptom that is still with me – I cannot taste or smell things. Actually, the taste seems to be improving. If something is tart, tangy, or salty, I can taste that. Otherwise, I’m just eating because I need to eat. I also struggle with bouts of nausea and stomach pain. This thing is a circus full of fun.

But, I had (have) a lot of people praying for me, including my family, and I believe with all my heart that those prayers moved heaven on my behalf. So thankful.

Ok, that’s my Covid ordeal. I survived and I am recovering. But lemme tell you the good stuff.

Before day 10, I couldn’t do much more than mutter “Jesus, help me” numerous times a day. But once symptoms began to subside, the tide turned. Covid often made it hard for me to sleep at night, so I began having lots of late-night worship sessions. Those sessions turned into prayer times, as I climbed back up on the wall to take my post as an intercessor, albeit a weakened, sometimes nauseous one. And then, my appetite returned with a ferocity I hadn’t seen in a while. Not an appetite for food, but for the Word of God, as I began a renewed search for the heart of my Father. I found my gaze had turned from being consumed with Covid, off of what’s been happening in the political arena and in the streets of our nation, and back to Jesus.

All of this had actually begun before Covid threw me against the rocks. Now, it’s rising up like flames that just hit the kitchen curtains. Spreading, growing. Because God used Covid to fan into life an ember that had only begun to burn. While my body was surviving, my soul began to thrive and that means God had His way and the enemy did not. Any way you turn it, it’s good.

I did not start the flame. I did not will myself to want more of Jesus or to seek more of His heart or to re-engage in intercession. It was not by my own strength or persistence that I came out of the worst part of Covid with a revival going on in my soul.

God is on the move.

And oh my gosh haven’t we all just been waiting for it? As chaos increases and lawlessness is more brazen than ever. As the deception grows thick and rage is running the streets, we’ve waited for God to pull back the curtain and reveal the truth and put everything right. But what if we’ve been looking in the wrong place for the move of God? What if He wants to do it in us, instead of out there? Perhaps the shaking starts with us, those who are called holy and righteous and belonging to Him. What if we’re the ones with the curtain and the need for truth in our innermost parts?

What if Jesus is turning the gaze of the Church away from what’s happening in the darkness and fixing it on Him who dwells in unapproachable light?

There is not one thing going on in the world right now that is outside of the sovereignty of God. Not one thing is thwarting His plans or altering His purposes in the earth. He is who He says He is. He will do what He said He will do. He has built His Church on the truth of the Gospel, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. Nothing is hidden from His sight. He will neither slumber nor sleep. He is making ready His Bride, to present her to His Father.

Turning her gaze back to Him. Making a way in her wilderness and streams in her desert. Allowing the sifting and praying for her, that her faith will not fail. Calling her to return to her first Love, to choose the better thing, to love Him with all her heart, soul, mind and strength.

We look away from the natural realm and we fasten our gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection. His example is this: Because his heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be his, he endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God!

Hebrews 12:2 – The Passion Translation
What is God doing in you right now, in the middle of what you’re going through?
How is He attempting to turn your gaze to Him?

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