It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. Lamentations 3:22-24
“About six more months,” the doctor said when I asked about recovery from my hand surgery. And just as my second cast was removed and I could get back to the computer and writing, we learned about the corona virus. So, where will we as Christians, go with this latest and unprecedented challenge?
We can begin with gratitude, remembering always God’s great gift through his Son, Jesus Christ. We can cultivate and discipline ourselves in daily thanksgiving, determinedly opposed to the world’s deluge of criticism and fault-finding. “Who do you blame for the transmission of this virus in your community?” and “We’re waiting now for the lawsuits that will be filed,” were comments I heard today on the news—rather than gratitude for all those who are heroically serving in this time of global pandemic and the wisdom and expertise we experience in our beloved country.
We actively seek ways to serve. I know people who are sewing masks; others who are packaging and delivering groceries; some who are calling and checking on vulnerable people; and family members who are treating the ill in our community. We can intentionally block out time for prayer and meditation, specifically lifting up our leaders, first responders, caregivers, and those in trouble.
We can determine to be encouragers. When we hear fear or depression, we can acknowledge these very real feelings and guide the conversation into hope in Christ and his faithfulness. We don’t belittle or disparage temptations to negativity, for they are real and fed at large by the media and others whose faith is not yet strong. We pour out God’s love that flows through us and recognize occasions to minister in times like these.
We resist the temptation, as Fenelon says, to look forward to better days. We trust God’s sovereignty for the now and ask him to use these circumstances to refine and transform us. We live in the present as lights in an uncertain world, keeping our eyes focused on him, the author and finisher of our faith.
We stand, anchored in Christ who will never leave us, and allow him to work in and through us for his purpose in the Kingdom.
When this is all over and this current crisis ended, what and who will we be? Will we be stronger in the Lord and truer to our faith in him, grateful for his promised faithfulness? Or will we have missed all the opportunities he has provided for intimacy and a greater knowledge of himself?
It’s really our choice.
Father, never before have we had such unlimited possibilities for service and growth. Move our eyes from ourselves and stay them on you as we seek ways to share our faith and our hope, our energies and our love with fearful, anxious, and hurting people in our world and in our community. May we speak and sing of your faithfulness as we trust you through these difficult times. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.