It would’ve been way more convenient if the entire world had entered the pandemic coming off of a good season. If only we’d had all our affairs in order, all our bills paid, all our relationships in good standing, and all our anxieties resolved. No such luck. Instead, we walked into the unexpected with whatever baggage we were already carrying. (I smile as I imagine the irony of me carrying a suitcase in one hand, while trying to navigate holding toilet paper and sanitizer wipes in the other. Funny. Not funny.)
So, how do we navigate all the new complexities while still dealing with the imperfections of our pre-virus life?
This isn’t a religious exercise to me. This is real-time asking. I started a short, online class entitled Moving Beyond that I’m currently leading. The purpose is to equip us to move beyond fear and failure. As I revisited a theme I taught in 2016 in light of 2020 circumstances and asked this question, the Lord reminded me of two things…
1. We have a choice regarding how we walk through this.
We have lost a lot of control in recent weeks. The normal social construct of our daily lives has changed without our input. No one likes feeling out of control. No one. But the one thing we all still have control over is how we think through these days. We decide what we listen to or read and what we allow access to our hearts, minds, and souls. We decide what thoughts we’ll give more life to and what thoughts we’ll snuff out. We decide if we’ll praise and trust God in the season of the unseen without the ending written.
God didn’t cause this, but He can bring good from it. Let’s make ourselves available to the good. That doesn’t mean ignoring the difficult or pretending everything’s OK. It means acknowledging the hard, but choosing to put the hard at His feet.
2. We must remember.
Today is called Good Friday. But the reality of the day of Jesus’ crucifixion is that everything was bad for the believers. Their lives and their vision of the future were abruptly overturned. Then there was Saturday. Can you imagine how many doubts and fears they were fighting? Or maybe you remember the account when Lazarus was dead and buried and Martha and Mary, who both loved Jesus, were filled with despair? We have the distinct advantage of seeing God bring great victory in each of these scenarios. Now, we may not have all the answers to our tomorrow, but we can trust the One who’s resurrected. We’re His children and, just like Mary and Martha, He cares for us deeply.
Don’t take my word for it on how much God cares for you. Check out 1 John 3:1a…
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!
When something is bestowed, it’s the picture of a king giving a gift. It isn’t an equal transaction. It’s one-sided giving. So, get this: Our Heavenly Father wants us to focus on/remember (a.k.a. behold) that we are to be called His children. He isn’t hiding our relationship with Him or simply bailing out sinful creatures. He calls us His children and makes us His family.
There are many questions we can’t answer today, but we can choose to focus on His truth and rest in the fact that He always brings good to those who love Him… even if we can’t see the resurrection yet.