When I first heard about the Covid19 virus, it seemed like one of many news items from halfway around the world – sad, but removed from our daily lives. However, that was January - and by March, everything had changed, and the virus was very much impacting every aspect of our lives.
For me, my concerns and worries escalated when our state established shelter-in-place guidelines, because that meant we had to close down our church’s Sunday morning worship services. It was a big step to take for a small church like ours, especially because our only alternative was to move our services online, and not everyone in our congregation has access to the internet. So I was worried that the relationships we had worked over ten years to build were going to suffer from the disconnect that social distancing brings.
But of course I shouldn’t have worried at all, because God wasn’t surprised by this pandemic. He is still sovereign; He still has a plan - and that plan is still for our good. That has once again proven true over the past six weeks as we’ve been doing our service online. Not only has our little church been able to stay connected, but we’ve also added to our online community as more and more folks from around the world are tuning in on Sunday mornings.
It has been an unexpected experience, to say the least. I have received messages from a variety of people from all over, that I do not know at all, but God has led them to our online service in random, and unusual ways. The result is that, not only has the pandemic not stopped our work, but God has used this situation to expand the ministry. And again, I should not have been surprised, because this is the way God works. He has a plan in the midst of every storm - and He will use the hard things that are going on in our lives, and in our world, to carry out His plans. The Apostle Paul reminds us of this truth in Romans 8:28, where he writes: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” The challenge for us is to move our eyes off the challenging things going on in our lives, and instead, look to God, and to what He's doing.
So today, no matter what's going on in our lives, let's hold on to what we know is true: God is in control, He has a good and perfect plan for His Creation, and He is at work. Let’s allow the reality of God's nature and character to comfort us, guide us, and equip us to live for Him - in the midst of even the most difficult situations.