“There is nothing new under the sun!” the Preacher in Ecclesiastes proclaims. What we are experiencing today may be unprecedented for our generation, but it is not new to creation nor is it outside of the knowledge and care of the Creator. I would imagine that many of you like me have wrestled with a myriad of thoughts, emotions, and longings over the past few weeks related to the pandemic. What follows are a bit of a compilation of how I have been feeling the past few weeks. I have found it most helpful in difficult times to go before the Lord with the darker or harder emotions in one hand and consider a lighter emotion to complement in the other. This isn’t to replace one for the other - lament has an important place in the life of the believer, as does righteous anger. I’ve linked some passages of Scripture that seemed fitting, or perhaps a prayer or site I found helpful recently. I hope you can identify with some of these and that they are helpful for you as you read.
I’m sad that I simply can’t see many of you.
I’m glad that there are new fangled and old fashioned ways to continue connecting with one another.
3 John 13-15 (ESV)
I had much to write to you, but I would rather not write with pen and ink. I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face. Peace be to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends each by name.
I grieve the suffering that many are experiencing, or will experience, as a result of the current crisis.
I rejoice in hearing of God’s people ministering to one another by donating time and money, delivering food, singing “Easter Carols,” sending notes and flowers, caring for the sick, setting up emergency care facilities, and more.
1 John 3:16-18 (ESV)
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
I’m concerned that many are turning to addictive habits as they suffer isolation.
I hope that we can help each other realize that the fulfillment of our deepest longings is found only in the love of God.
Philippians 4:8 (ESV)
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
I am disheartened because in this age of information it is difficult to ascertain the truth about many important topics.
I’m hopeful that we can humbly approach sources with discernment by the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
I am disappointed that within the body of Christ we allow so many things to divide us.
I’m hopeful that we can recommit to unity in Christ who invites us to work towards the same goal of building his kingdom.
Philippians 1:27 (ESV)
Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel
I am afraid of losing the trust and friendship of people because of a particular stance I take or a decision I make as a leader.
I have courage in the Spirit of God who guides and the grace of God that is sufficient.
1 Corinthians 4:1-4 (ESV)
This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me.
I’m doubtful that I am equipped to accomplish the tasks before me successfully.
I take courage because the Holy Spirit equips the one called by God to do the task for which one is called.
1 Corinthians 1:26-31 (ESV)
For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human begin might boast in the presence of God. And becasue of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord."
I’m afraid that I’m eating too much junk food and Cadbury eggs (not the creme ones, the mini ones) and jelly beans (JellyBelly are the best).
I’m glad that I have had some extra time to go mountain biking and get some exercise outside.
Proverbs 25:16 (ESV)
If you have found honey, eat only enough for you,
Lest you have your fill of it and vomit it.
I’m sad because a long anticipated time away with Stephanie had to be cancelled.
I rejoice in the extra family time we have had - bedtime stories, exploring the woods, getting our garden ready, playing games.
Proverbs 19:21 (ESV)
Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.