These postings seems to be plastered on many doors today: “Mask Required.” Your eyes meet this kind of sign before entering the doctor’s office, the grocery store, the fitness gym, the post office, and restaurants. On Saturday I encountered this posting as I entered the terminal at Denver International Airport. According to United Airlines, a mask must be worn at all times when in the terminal as well as when on the airplane.
I have a pink mask, a floral mask, and a plain blue medical paper mask. Not that I try to coordinate the mask with my clothing for the day, but I do think about the necessity and impact of wearing a mask. I wear a mask to honor the executive order of Colorado legislators and to respect others with health concerns.
Do I enjoy wearing a mask? No. I often experience breathlessness and even hot flashes. Nevertheless, the apostle Paul clearly instructs followers of Christ to respect those in authority, and this isn’t just an external conformity, but an internal submission of the heart. Why does Paul give this instruction? Because all authority is ordained by God, and our submission ultimately honors the Lord.
“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.” Romans 13:1-2
Mask – a covering fitting over the nose and mouth to protect against dust, air pollutants, or to prevent possible transmission of infection.
So, what is your attitude and behavior regarding the mask? Does your heart rebel against the authorities? Do you question and resist God’s positioned leaders?
Throughout history God sovereignly worked through both godly and ungodly individuals to accomplish His purposes. Right now as I find myself reading Isaiah, I notice how God allowed those who demonstrated neither fear of nor love of Him to overtake and rule over His people. God chose to use ungodly nations and people as a part of His divine plan to arouse confession, repentance, and the growth of His people.
In what ways does the mask confront any rebellion within your soul? Do you stop to examine with God why you feel angry, frustrated, or fearful because of the mask requirement? Is it time for confession and repentance so that transformation and godly growth occur?
When I get in the car I remove the elastic from behind my ears and breathe deeply from the air surrounding me. Refreshment floods my soul. I thank God for the fresh air. Freedom.
Wearing the mask actually offers a type of freedom. Freedom to obey God’s Word. Freedom to honor those with health issues and concern. Freedom to trust God’s sovereignty in His chosen leaders. Freedom to love those around me through the actions I take. Freedom to live securely in Christ, submitting to His ways. I never considered that wearing a mask offered freedom, yet I realize that is what I enjoy because of the mask. What about you?
How does the mask free you?
- Freedom to speak less and listen more.
- Freedom to honor one another above yourself.
- Freedom to follow God’s design for authority.
- Freedom to safeguard speech.
- Freedom to allow other parts of the body to express joy, concern, and love.
Galatians 5:1 – “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.”
Perhaps when you don your mask, ask God to bless others through your words, whether or not they are muffled by the mask. Let your mouth speak life, encouragement, hope, and truth. Allow your obedient act of mask wearing to bring glory to God.
May the mask reveal your love for God and for others.
““Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:36-38.
Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Read these recommended books to fill your soul.
Stuart Scott. 31 Ways to Be a “One-Another” Christian: Loving Others with the Love of Jesus Wapwallopen, PA. 2019.
Andrew Murray. Humility: The Journey Toward Holiness. Abbotsford, WI. 2016.
Sprinklings of truth: Soak in meaningful songs. Check out these music videos to lift up your spirit.
Big Daddy Weave. Every Time I Breathe. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w70xy8sPEE4
Casting Crowns. Lifesong. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEhlwljvOq0