This Sunday we are baptizing our third person since the coronavirus completely altered the way we do life. Better than that, we will baptize the following week as well.
I remember when the coronavirus crisis first began. It was like driving down the highway at 70 miles an hour only to have the passenger in your car pull the emergency brake, sending you haphazardly into a full stop.
It was easy to be discouraged, to gripe. At the beginning of all of this, the idea of not physically attending church seemed insane, and yet, here we are, now in our second month of online only services.
In those first days I made a decision to not complain. I looked early on at what scripture taught regarding the relationship of believers and the government, and I wanted to live out my faith and our church’s practices in a way that would honor God. Not only did I want to obey the guidance placed over us, I wanted to honor our leaders by the way we complied.
No complaining, no griping.
The clock continues to move while we stay still. While the stay at home orders began with just a few weeks in March, they now extend through mid-May. It is very possible that the orders will be extended again.
We are all tired. Businesses are hurting. People are hurting. We have not had church in person in two months.
As the news of the extended stay at home order was announced, people reacted. I saw many pastor friends react viscerally. While claiming scripture’s teachings on governmental submission, the tone and frustration was clear. I saw many friends react. As people we are tired of quarantine, stay at home orders, and social distancing.
I was neither surprised nor disheartened by the extension of our stay at home order. Truthfully, I was expecting it. It has not disheartened me.
It goes back to the deliberate choice I made when all this crazy Rona stuff began. I chose to look to see how God would redeem these days. God doesn’t waste storms, and he won’t waste the coronavirus. He will redeem it. He already has.
Because of the coronavirus, our church is connecting to people we have never connected with before. That is right – in a time when we cannot meet in person, we are reaching people like never before.
I believe we are seeing people turn to Jesus in these days because of the faithfulness of God in the midst of this pandemic. We are baptizing every week! We have baptisms scheduled through Mother’s Day!!! I don’t know about you, but that does not sound like God is sitting idly in these days. God is on the move, and he is moving at FBCV!
Let me encourage you. Instead of looking at all of the wrongs in these days, look instead to how God is using these days for good. It is a matter of perspective. God does not waste a single day of our lives. He does not waste a single moment in a pandemic. He is working all things for good. He is redeeming our days.
May I challenge you? How is God redeeming your days? One of two things may come out of this pandemic: 1. As you trust in his faithfulness, you will see God work in remarkable ways. 2. You squander these days, embracing the despair of brokenness around you.
Today you can choose to turn your eyes up. Instead of embracing a heart which gripes and complains, look to see how God is redeeming this storm. God is moving. God is working. God does not waste storms.