Yesterday, our Church, like many Churches, did not have a regular worship program because of a nationwide virus. Those are words I never thought I would write.
Let me give you a little context. I have been a Church leader for 27 full years, and during that time, I think I have seen it all. We have canceled our meetings for floods, snowstorms, power outages, ice, and influenza. There have been Churches near me survive fires and tornadoes. They simply skipped a week and found a new place to meet while they rebuilt.
This is different. We have closed for two weeks, and the government is saying it could take 60 days at the least and 120 at the most to get through this nationwide pandemic. I am praying for the best for our people, community, and Church through this time of unprecedented events.
Here is the amazing thing to be me through all of this, I never saw any of it coming. Well, to be fair, no one did. Last year the leadership and I planned a 2020Vision for our Church. It was a five-year plan, and we try to think of numerous issues that might arise. We talked about community changes, staff issues, annual budgets, economic swings, and even the effects of bad weather. Never once did we mention a nationwide pandemic.
All this reminds me of what James wrote to the Church in James 4:13-15, “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ (14) Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. (15) Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
Did you catch verse 14, “You do not even know what will happen tomorrow.” Moments like this remind me of this insightful truth. I had no idea this was coming, and yet here we are today. We are in a place and time we could not have imagined. So, what do we do?
I have always liked the line that says, “I don’t know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future.” Faith in Jesus is not about having insights into the future; it is about trusting him when we do not see the future. It is about holding onto the one certain thing in a time of uncertainty. James wanted the Christians during his time to place their faith entirely in God, not the normal flow of this world. After all, we have no idea what is going to happen.
This day and this week, we are bracing ourselves for more events that no one saw coming. I hope that we will not be filled with anxiety and fear. Instead, I pray this time forces us to cling to faith. Today is a great day to trust God. We are living at a time no one imagined, but we have a God with unlimited capabilities.