So, I am supposed to be in Michigan with my wife and kids spending time with extended family.
Before I was able to drive away, I heard some major announcements on the radio that made me second guess the wisdom of traveling. So, instead, here we are. My wife, two daughters and I are cooped up in our home. I know we are not alone in our experience. Many of you are practicing the recommended “social distancing”.
My concern as a Pastor though is “fear”. Talking on the phone, listening to the radio, reading the news, one of the dominant emotions out there is “fear”. For many, life seems to have become far more uncertain.
The reasons for the fear:
1. Some of our loved ones are in isolation and not allowed to have visitors.
2. Some of our loved ones were already sick before this virus became such a huge issue. There is fear over how it will potentially impact them.
3. Many people we know, and perhaps ourselves, have money in the stock market.
4. Some of the shelves in the grocery stores are low or empty.
5. With the closures of businesses, many people are not able to work. What will become of their jobs? How will they pay bills? For some this is a personal concern.
6. Being isolated can take a toll on our mental health. That only contributes to the fear that is being experienced.
The list goes on. The reality is that many of us have a lot of questions and not a lot of answers.
Over the years I have often heard about how missionaries were supposed to go out into the world and preach the gospel, trusting, relying on ‘faith in God’ that their needs would be met. They would go and not know if they had enough money. They would wonder if they could learn the language. They had lots of questions. When I would hear people say this about missionaries, I would often think – “don’t we all live by faith?”.
Well that reality for each of us has suddenly hit home. For every one of us, we are called as followers of Jesus to “walk by faith and not by sight”. That isn’t always easy. Yet with all of the uncertainty, that is the challenge for each of us today. Every new day, each step we take, we must trust that God will provide. That doesn’t mean that we be reckless, but instead, that as we go about our day, we need to remind ourselves that God is sovereign. No matter how ‘out of control’ things may seem, God will keep us. He is watching over us.
In the midst of the chaos around us, let us remember that we are called to ‘walk by faith, not by sight..’–a verse worth memorizing and reciting as we go through the next few weeks. God is good.
For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge. Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord– for we walk by faith, not by sight–
2 Corinthians 5:4-7