I feel saturated, bombarded by Covid-19 news. What about you?
Dr. Neil Levitsky, a Toronto, Ontario psychiatrist, says we should be aware of pandemic news but limit how much we watch. I agree.
We recently celebrated the First Sunday of Advent whose first candle represents hope. For Christians, this hope exemplifies both the Nativity and Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Christian theologian John Piper thinks that Christ should be the rock on which we lean in the midst of the pandemic, a pandemic which is opening a way for transformation. I believe that this transformation is both personal and societal.
You may wonder, ‘Luba, how on earth can I take my life to the Next Level in the middle of so much insecurity, division and change?’ ‘Luba’, you may say, ‘people are dying, and you expect me to believe that there is a God and that this God cares about me?’
Yes, I do.
God works best in dark times because God’s light shines most then. These are precisely the times we’re living in.
Dark Times, Open Heaven
Many believe that, in spite of the dark times we’re in, we are also living under an open heaven which means that communication is actively happening between heaven and earth.
As bleak as things appear around us in the physical realm, as dark as the situation seems to be, as uncertain as our circumstances are, there is an ‘openness’ that covers us through which blessings come. This is the hope that I refer to in this piece.
God has a plan for each and every one of us. God’s plan for me was to leave Bulgaria, come to Canada and become a chaplain in war time. Although we are not in a traditional war, we seem to be involved in a new kind of warfare, an invisible war with an invisible enemy, Covid-19.
God’s blessings will pour on us when—in the midst of this warlike atmosphere, a kind of protracted lent from pre-Covid-19 activities we took for granted—we remember God.
What is impossible—Next Level thinking—suddenly becomes possible in a step-by-step, day-by-day reliance on the knowledge that we are living under an open heaven that is ready to pour out its gifts on us so long as we accept the transformation that is required of us now.
‘You mean, Luba, that more is required of me than being careful and wearing a mask?’
Yes, I do.
I think that we’ve been given this time of ‘straightening’ as a reprieve. You can think of it as grace or a grace period that’s been given to us to get rid of all the extraneous things and relationships in our lives that are preventing us from rising in life, being the person we were always meant to be.
An open heaven is clear, bright, gracious, and freeing. It accepts us with our foibles and is ever ready to provide and guide, caress and bless, help, and support, acknowledge and rebuke and love us. An open heaven is uncomplicated and balanced, ruled yet tolerant, and fundamentally good. An open heaven is filled with goodness. It is ready to cover you in an abundance of beauty and goodness in the midst of your pain and suffering.
Feeling a little anxious because of the pandemic? Unsure of what to do next? Perhaps you’ve just retired and don’t know what to do with the rest of your life? As an experienced chaplain in a first class retirement home and psychotherapy intern at the University of Toronto, I can help you.
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 Dr. James W. Goll, ‘What Really Happens in an Open Heaven?,’ Charisma, accessed online on December 1, 2020, https://www.charismamag.com/blogs/a-voice-calling-out/22133-what-really-happens-in-an-open-heaven.