Let's face it. Lately things have been pretty grim in this world. We have a global pandemic and the very real possibility that people we know and love may get sick or die is a reality in our lives. It is surreal and feels nightmarish. It is scary to know that we can have losses that amount to the expected numbers and that we can see a change in our lives as we know it. A lot of us are using "shelter at home" technique to manage our and other's exposure to the Covid-19 virus and are rarely leaving our homes. Many of us are still out and about working because we are essential to the function of this country and our way of life. Some are not heeding the warnings as well as others, but it seems that more and more people showing a growing understanding of the reality and that we have more control over it than we like to let on (distancing ourselves so that we can not spread the virus as quickly as it might if we did not). It is easy to get lost in the fear of things and wonder what we will do with this time we have on our hands or our changed lives. How do we function in a world that is so different than we are used to? How can we have faith in this time of turmoil and loneliness? I listened to a great message today and heard some pretty wonderful snippets of information about being in the wilderness and how it can edify and grow us. Make no mistake...this is a wilderness of epic proportions. We can easily get lost in the mud and muck of it and not be able to find our way through it. We can be like the Israelites who wandered aimlessly for 40 years or we can use the time we have sheltering at home to spend growing ourselves and our people. As Pastor Kyle Tennant said in the sermon I listened to, in this time of being at home so much, we can make it a prison or a greenhouse. What can we do during this time of extra "space" so to speak? Could we spend time reading the Word and praying? Of course that is a wonderful thing to do. Could we reach out to others who may be lonely and just check in? That would be excellent as well. We can be conduits for God's love and grace at all times. He has allowed us to slow down and focus on the real things...the good things. It does not mean that the realities of Covid-19 do not exist- of course they do. We are not to be ignorant as to the state of the world. We are however to come from a place of victory. It is already ours per Romans 8:37 ASV, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. This verse says that we have won...not that we will win. When I talk about winning, I'm not saying we will not be affected or even harmed by the effects of Covid-19. I am saying that in the grand scheme, the victory is OURS- we know that He is in control and this earthly time is just the beginning. Jesus said he has come that we may have life and have it more abundantly. I propose that during this time of sheltering in place, you look for the abundance that God has for you. Spiritually it is there. It will look a bit different for us all, but it exists for all who seek it. He is gracious and is extravagant with His peace in the times of trouble. Use this time to abundantly seek out a new talent and then develop it. Use this time to connect with your family in a way that you never have been able to before. Use this time to reach out to people in new ways through video chats and technology so that you are connected and that others do not feel alone. We do not have to suffer at home.....we have to shelter at home. Please know my heart. I am not minimizing the effects of Covid-19 and I am not making light of the real suffering that is happening and will continue for some time. What I am suggesting is we do not have to live in fear because we have a hope that is bigger than this. We can share this hope. Reach in and cling to Jesus in a way you never have before. Show people the Holy Spirit by your peace. Be there for each other. Be tender and gentle with others and yourself. Do the things that are good for you. Nurture yourself and those close to you. God will provide peace in the midst of the storm.
Connect with Pastor Vicky, Dave DiBernardi, Sally Wagner, Meghan DeGregory and Shane Russo as they share what God is doing in our lives and what we are learning as we grow.