Right now, I am sitting in the Church building, and it is dead quiet. Usually, this day would be full of people preparing food and activities for the night’s events. Yesterday should have been the start of our Vacation Bible School (VBS) here at the Church building. Everything was rolling along wonderfully until last Thursday morning. Then things began to change quickly. First, a local business had a case of COVID in their building. This impacted families in our Church. Then another store had a similar experience. Finally, on Friday night, a regular attendee at our worship found out that he had it and had exposed several of his family who also attends. All total about seven individuals and families have been exposed that we are aware of at this time.
Saturday morning, our Children’s Minister and I sat down and went over the options. She contacted the workers, and I reached out to the leadership. One by one, workers were stepping back, and apprehension was growing. By 1:00 pm, we decided to cancel this year’s VBS and pack up everything for a later date, even if that is clear to next summer.
This year we have canceled worship for 13 weeks. We missed celebrating Easter together, along with Mother’s Day. This was just another casualty in a list of programs, big days, and event that has happened this year in the Church. I know we are not alone. The ripple effect is touching every Church in our community and those across the state and the country.
Last night I stood alone in the darkness and wondered what I am supposed to do next as a Pastor? I have never been in a place quite like this before, where everything in the future was so uncertain.
The Church is not alone in this, either. Teachers in my congregation, along with administrators, are facing big decisions as we approach the next school year. Anxiety is growing and uncertainly fills the air when it comes to Church, school, sports, businesses, and every community activity.
What do we do as believers when our world is turned upside down?
I think this is the time we are to lean into our faith. This is not the time to push back and let fear dominate our thinking. This is the time for us to trust God even more. The one statement I keep repeating in my head to myself and also to others is that “God will make something good come from this.” I have not seen it yet, and I have no idea what it might be. But I am sure, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that God will bring something good out of this. Now, it may not happen today or tomorrow, it might not even happen this year or next, but at some point, we will see his plan unveiled.
Honestly, if nothing else comes out of this year, all of us relearning to trust God daily is a lesson we all needed to be retaught.