This Sunday will be the 12th week of weirdness.
By weird, I mean things like:
- Preaching to a mostly empty room.
- Celebrating with caravans of cars.
- Zooming almost every meeting or human interaction.
- Worshiping separate & apart from my family.
- Having no “normal” funerals or weddings.
- Not being able to do hospital visits.
Throughout this, I often think, I am ready for things to get back to normal. But, the more I think about it, there are some things I hope do not go back to normal.
COVID-19 has caused a lot of disruption to life in general. A lot of things have been lost, a lot of events have been postponed, and a lot of activities have been canceled.
But, in the middle of all these obstacles, God has given us many opportunities. Maybe the biggest blessing in all the cancellations, and social distancing, is that families are together again. With restaurants closing, dinner tables are being used for dinner. With ballgames & tournaments canceled, families are less pushed & more present. With church buildings closing, many families are worshiping together. Maybe in all of this, God gave us a beautiful & precious gift— the gift of time.
Homes have been filled with love, laughter, silliness, and just being together. And that is not a bad thing in the slightest.
Don’t misunderstand. I understand it’s serious. Anxiety and fear is up. Jobs have been lost. Some have gotten sick. A few have even died. It’s not utopia. In fact, we are promised that since sin entered it, this world would never be utopia.
However, amid all the bad, let us not overlook the good God has done. There have been many good things that we have seen God do that we might not have witnessed otherwise. And I think God has taught us many lessons in all of this and given us some blessings as well.
I am looking forward to getting back to some sense of normal. To being with you all again in 3D. I look forward to shaking your hand, hugging you, praying with you, and worshiping with you soon. I am praying for the sick to recover, for jobs to return, and for our leaders at all levels to make the wisest decisions.
Suffering, in whatever form, while not pleasant, has value. Peter writes, “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” 1 Peter 5.10
The pandemic, like all things, will pass. And when it does, will we be any different?
May we persevere through it and mature. May our faith in God be stronger. May our love for one another be deeper. And may our hope in God and His promise for a better, perfect, eternal world remain unswerving.