My first interaction with China was in June 2008. I flew a Boeing 777 to Shanghai from Chicago for American Airlines and spent a couple days in the city. I know Shanghai is more western and showy than the rest of China because of its history and interaction with the West. But I will never forget what I saw there; its vibe, its raw economic and technological power.
My second and most recent encounter with China was yesterday. I tested positive for COVID-19.
I had experienced symptoms for a few days of what I was pretty certain was a common cold, an intermittent wet cough and a mild headache. But I was planning to fly today to a Bible conference and visit some friends in Monroe Louisiana, so I thought it prudent to be tested.
And just like that, the trip was canceled, and I began the prescribed 14-day quarantine from the first day of coughing, along with my beautiful bride who now must also assume she’s contagious, although she’s asymptomatic.
I hope it’s not too much togetherness for her! 🙂 We will try to social distance in the house, using different bedrooms and bathrooms, practice excessive hand washing, and wearing masks if we need to be closer than six feet. But our daughter who is a MD says she is likely to get it anyway. I don’t know many people personally who have contracted COVID-19, less than ten I think, but in every case except one where there was a couple involved, they both got it.
I hope and pray if she gets it, her symptoms will be mild like mine. 99% of the cases reportedly are. The mystery and variety of the 1% is what’s troubling.
The biggest pain for us is the restriction of freedom. Not going out to eat, to shop, to run errands, etc. But we will make the best of it. Lots of reading, writing and journaling for me — that’s not a big change. It will be harder for her.
As someone said early in the pandemic, their baseboards have never been so clean. Those of you who know my wife know they’re already clean. I’ll probably have to get them re-painted after this!
Our kids called last night concerned, but also pointing out this could be a good thing and good timing going into the holidays, as we’ll be immune and not worried about getting it or giving it to others! 🙂
A bird just flew into our windows with a thud. Then it flew away in a bit of shock, confusion and with a headache, if birds get headaches?
I guess that’s what having COVID-19 myself means for me spiritually? I feel like I’m awake spiritually, and walking in light, His light. But how does one really know? Deception has the intrinsic quality that if you are deceived — you don’t know it.
But that bird knows it now! Whatever he or she saw enticing or encouraging full speed flight into our window was a mistake. It was caused by an illusion, a wrong perception, not seeing things as they really are.
China — A Piece of the Puzzle
My COVID-19 story has gotten long, so my China musings will be brief. They will serve as an introduction for you possibly of what has recently come onto my personal radar.
A few weeks ago a retired CEO in our 2020 book club and men’s group told us about a secular book he was reading about China. The author is an intellectual, a think tank person, but one who has advised several US presidents on foreign policy and international affairs.
I have not read the book yet, but I will. As our CEO friend shared from his notes and then a summary, it became clear that political China is an enemy of the United States of America. Also that they are probably already the world’s leading economic power, and on a course to be the world’s leading military power. The author, for reasons I won’t go into at this juncture, sees a future war with China as probable if not in inevitable.
I’m coming to see that China may be to us what ancient Babylon was to Judah before 586 BC — on the rise. A tiger. A dragon. Read Habakkuk, as he asks the Lord about what he was seeing in Babylon and Judah, and what would be the outcome of it all?
Ask yourself, “Why did China suspend all flights from Wuhan into China while releasing flights into the rest of the world?”
I’ll build my case later for this. But I see China as a major piece of the puzzle for life in the U.S. and on the planet in the next chapter, even in this present darkness.
They are to us a formidable enemy on the rise like Babylon was to Judah before 586 BC. It depends on the prayers and repentance of the church when and whether they come.
Either way one can read Habakkuk and see the Lord’s discussion with the prophet as how it might play out. And more importantly how a true believer will act and regard these times and those times, if it happens the way I’m describing.
To complicate the matter, although it’s not complicated to the Lord, almost certainly the largest and healthiest church in the world is the underground church in China. Its size is estimated about the same as the US population currently. They are our kingdom brothers and sisters in the true faith of the Lord Jesus Christ.
So while they are our true friends, their government is our true enemy. The situation merits watching, just like watching Israel .
You may recall Jesus told us to be alert for the signs that point to the end of the age, or the latter days, and his return.
Israel has always been one of those signs and will always be, because of God’s promises to them and to the nations who treat them well or treat them poorly.
I’ve often thought China would loom large and be a major player in the end time events. Now there is much evidence this is the case. And the time could be now, in the coming decades, maybe even in just a few years?
More on this later but let me point you to a few books and publications that point to the truth and evidence of what I’m suggesting.
The book my friend read: Destined for War by Graham Allison
A recent Hillsdale College article on China: Imprimis Sepember 2020 “Facing Up to the China Threat“
About the underground church in China: The Heavenly Man Brother Yun
Also about Christian life in China’s underground church: Bold as a Lamb Ken Anderson The Story of Samuel Lamb
My Advice & My Personal Tact
Stay awake. Stay alert. Stay close.
Abide in the vineyard. Stay close to the Master. Be like Habakkuk at the end of his book. The Lord bless and keep you. The Lord turn his face toward you and be gracious to you. The Lord cause his countenance to shine upon you and give you peace. Amen [Numbers 6:24-26]
“O LORD, I have heard the report of You; I stand in awe, O LORD, of Your deeds. Revive them in these years; make them known in these years. In Your wrath, remember mercy!” Hab 3:3
“Though the fig tree should not blossom
And there be no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold
And there be no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will exult in the Lord,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength,
And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet,
And makes me walk on my high places.” Hab 3:17-19
“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you….” Psalm 91:1-3a