Friends, For the vast majority of us, these are unprecedented times. There are few who have lived through the Great Depression and World War II. However, most of us have never experienced a season like this. We are in the midst of a great disruption – on the level of the Great Depression and World War II.
Disruptions? Yes! There are travel restrictions, mass cancelations, work from home where possible and many people being furloughed, shopping craziness, price gouging, toilet paper and hand sanitizer shortages… economic crisis and even church services cancelled. There are many small businesses that will not rebound! All this is leading to increased anxiety and stress. People are panicking.
People are acting out because they are unprepared, and they are looking out for themselves. The great disruption has caused our routines to be interrupted and people are acting out of their independence. I believe that times of challenge can be a time of make or break for the individual and society. We will either be refined in the fire or burned to a crisp. The choice is ours.
Again, these are unprecedented times. The struggle is real, and it is difficult, to say the least. But there is an answer! “Jesus Is The Answer For The World Today. Above Him There's No Other, Jesus Is The Way” (Andrae Crouch, Jesus is the Answer). Be encouraged! Jesus is the answer! God is with us and God is working in the midst of the current pandemic. God’s promise to Isaiah is still a good promise for you and me.
“I said, ‘You are my servant; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand’” (Isaiah 41.9b-10, NIV).
There is no reason to panic; there is no reason to be stressed out. God is with us and God is for us! God will take care of us – help us and strengthen us! God is mighty and all powerful. We will get though this even though our regular routines have been disrupted. I believe we will be refined by the stuff we are going through.
I believe that the great disruption we face will actually cause us to grow stronger and closer to God! We can either get down, succumb to the stress, anxiety and insanity of the mob mentality or we can draw close to God and be refined and grow in the love and grace of God.
I’m determined! I’m growing and I’m coming back stronger than ever! I know that God has called me, equipped me and sent me. Nothing, absolutely nothing can ever change that!
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit – fruit that will last – and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you” (John 15.16, NIV).
Society will tell you this is a disruption, and in many ways I agree. I sure did miss March Madness and I will absolutely miss The Master on Resurrection Sunday afternoon. I really have nothing to watch on television. That is a disruption – a pretty minor disruption. Shelves are empty – there isn’t a roll of toilet paper to be found and hand sanitizer – forget about it. Again, a disruption – a pretty minor disruption.
But I’m not going to be disrupted! I’m staying connected! I’m trusting God, getting closer to God and letting God refine me in the fire. I need more than what I can do in my own strength and so do you! I’m believing in God and God’s promise!
“‘Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and will bring you back from captivity’” (Jeremiah 29.12-14a).
Dear friends, Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Jesus (John 14.1). Draw close to God. Use this season of disruption by worldly standards as a season of preparation to grow with God! God is doing a great and amazing work in the world and in our lives! We have all we need in God.
“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the Earth” (Acts 1.8, NIV).
We have Holy Spirit power and that is greater than anything we can do on our own. Let God refine you and grow within you as we make our quarantine time our God time!
Grace and peace,