This week, like the rest of America, I went to the grocery store. Though it was a Thursday morning, it felt more like black Friday. The shelves looked like a plague of locusts had blown through leaving behind a bunch of messy random groceries in their wake. Although the stores with empty shelves and long lines made me feel uneasy, what troubled me the most was the spirit of fear I sensed in all of the other shoppers. Everyone was on edge, nervous and hurried. Several older people at the store had a look of raw fear in their eyes.
What was missing was far more than groceries or toilet paper on shelves. It was peace. It was joy. A virus has robbed us of our peace.
I can understand the great fear of the unknown and all of the “what ifs” from the perspective of people outside of Christ. I understand the concern for their health and for our economy. I get it, and I accept that. What I do not accept is for believers to be giving way to panic and fear and despair. That is not how we roll.
When the world cries out “what if” in fear, the church answers, “even if” in faith. Why? Because we already died to this world. The enemy cannot hold us captive to the fear of death because we are already dead. Our lives are hidden in Christ with God. The sacred space where our deepest lives are lived out is beyond the reach of sickness and death. We are citizens of another kingdom entirely, and that kingdom’s economy is thriving.
For a believer the answer to every worst case scenario we will ever face is life… life…life. If this virus breezes over…life. We live for the glory of God. If this virus lingers…life. We press on and speak life in our world. If this virus overcomes our physical body…glorious, everlasting life in the presence of our awesome God. Everywhere we turn…life.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble to hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written” ‘For Your sake we face death all day long’ we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerers through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither life nor death, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:35-39
Jesus said that he came to bring us life abundantly. Because of that, we can be the people who are calm during the storm. We can be the people of peace in the midst of panic. We can be the ones who love their neighbors and take care of their needs right now. We can be the ones whose very lives sing “it is well with my soul.”
Church, beautiful beloved Bride of Jesus…it is raining hard in our world. It is dark. But because of our Great God, we can shine brightly against this dark backdrop. Maybe, our world will look up and take notice of the people of God, a people who shine, even in the rain. Our God can redeem everything. So we pray. We love. We wait. We walk in peace.
*My blogs are written with the assumption that they are being read primarily by Christians. If you want to know more about what it means to be a Christian or about the gospel of Jesus Christ, click the link here: The Gospel