The question had to be asked, because behind the brave front and under the surface we have a lot of nervousness about this virus. So, "Is it judgment?"
We begin with 2 things:
1) Actually, everything flawed and wrong in this fallen world is judgment. The mosquito bite last summer was judgment, and that is judgment in a very general sense. We we all suffer in a fallen world.
2) But be very careful about making specific connections or accusations. That is dangerous. There are some who love to preach judgment and they are pretty bad about this. Remember how the disciples asked Jesus about the man born blind; was it because he sinned or because his parents did? And Jesus told them: "Neither." (John 9:1-3) So be very careful about attributing particular troubles to some "secret sin". None of us has any specific knowledge of that kind. To presume can lead us to hurting others needlessly.
But there is an even worse mistake. We could get preoccupied in thinking about "judgment" and forget about the mercy, grace, and blessings of God. We could start thinking about God as "spiteful," and ourselves as perfectly innocent. That would turn everything upside down. It would blind us to our own faults and we would go along self-justifying and not struggling to grow in the good, the right, and the noble.
But here's the real story of judgment:
It's not our job to justify ourselves. There is someone else who is much better at that. The Old Testament talks about how "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness." Before any good works, measuring up to any commandments, Abraham was counted as righteous in the eyes of God. The Apostle Paul gives more details. He describes Abraham as trusting "Him who justifies the ungodly."
Somewhere in that whole mix, something happened to judgment. This is what it is. Yesterday we talked about Jesus as the "warm body" God. He is also the "standing under judgment" God. What does that mean?
People talk about "judgment" and about "Judgment Day," and they say that Judgment Day is when sinners will stand before God and be judged for their sins. But in one sense that has already happened.
There was a day when there was a man of sin. It was just one man because he was the only one to be judged. He made himself the "one sinner" gathering into Himself all the sins of a fallen world, and accepting the penalty of every one of them individually, and all of them all heaped together.
He stood with me. There under the judgment He stood with me.
The other day I was studying a verse in Isaiah 53. It's the one that says, "surely He bore our griefs and carried our sorrows." But I remembered a different translation from back when when I was young: "surely He bore our griefs and carried our infirmities." I wondered, and I dug a bit further ... I was surprised. Some of the ancient rabbis looked at the verse and they asked whether the Messiah might even be afflicted with leprosy.
Even though that goes a bit too far, it does grab onto something important. Jesus came to be in this fallen world, to carry a sin-sick world, to share with us the judgment part of this fallen world; and that includes even the infirmity, the dying, and the grave. He stood with me draining the judgment in my place, so that ...
Jesus did everything so that I could stand with Him, in glory, when all the glory of life opens up and eternal blessings are poured out in ways that none of us can even begin to imagine.
Lord Jesus, thank You for standing with me: in all the troubles of life; in my times of questioning and wondering; in my days of weakness; in the middle of worry; and when I have wandered far from God. Thank You for standing with me before Your Father, and for inviting me to stand with You in life and glory. Amen.