“Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.“ Psalm 9:10 (NIV)
When we began the year, I believe all of us were eager to begin the new decade ahead. When I shared our ministry vision titled, “This is Our Purpose!”, I am certain COVID19 was not part of the grandiose plan of action looking forward. But here we are, a quarter of the way through the new year already with many of us at home practicing social distancing and thankful for the toilet paper in the house. No, not because COVID19 has anything to do with toilet paper, it is simply because when you tell people they are to stay at home, restaurants and most business are closed and you cancel all major sporting and entertainment events, people want to make sure they have what they need and toilet paper seems to high on the list.
When President Trump made his announcement yesterday about expanding the stay at home measures and keeping many businesses and church services closed for now through April 30, I must admit as a pastor I had a lump in my throat. It was shortly after that press conference in the Rose Garden that a church leader tweeted, “Now is a good time to pray for your pastor!” He was right. What was I feeling that had me taking a walk around the church property listening to songs on my Spotify playlist titled, “Do Not Worry”?
As I lay in bed that night my wife paid attention to the sighs that echoed through the room when I tossed trying to find a comfortable spot. Then the conversation started. Not by her, but by me. You see, I know my wife and she is a patient person when she discerns there is a stirring going on inside me. She knows when I am struggling and has learned (notice I said has learned) to wait. She understands that soon I will be asking a question to solve the world’s problems and we will be up for the next hour talking about what we cannot solve.
My question? Glad you asked. “How do you feel about the news we received today?” And then the follow up like the reporters at the news conferences that you can see slightly annoy those answering their questions. “How do you feel about not being with the church family for that long?” My wife answered in her pastor’s wife voice. I know when I get the calm, gentle, it’s going to be all right voice, my wife is not just trying to get me to go to sleep. She has an answer that she has thought about, and she is about to share it with me. She answered my question with a question. Oh, she is good!
“What is there to worry about?” she asked. Now the pastor in me who knows the answer to that question was nowhere to be found. He was off busy trying to save the world again, but the guy who is vulnerable and concerned, the question caused that guy to think. What is there to worry about? Well let me count the ways and as I am about to rattle of my list of things to worry about, she comes with a worry therapy exercise rooted in the foundation of who God is to us in these times of uncertainty. She said, “Give me 5 things we know from the Bible that causes us not to worry about this situation.” 5 things? Oh, she is good!
So, I started and as I did, I could feel all the right answers coming to my mind. But they were coming in a way that felt like, “You know better buddy!” But then, as I rattled off a few more it became apparent that when you put this situation up to God and His ability, there really isn’t anything to worry about and getting a good night’s sleep is a much better option. Then I asked her to give me 5 things. Boom, she was off to the races. She had thought about this. Oh, she is good!
By the time we were done, the room was filled with calm. There was a different perspective that illuminated the darkness. A peace came about as the result of putting the worry up against the One who is above it all. The God we know and who has brought us and many others through uncertainty before. The Mighty God who we can trust and who will not let us down. It simply took the time to stop counting all the reasons to worry and start trusting God for all the things to be at peace about. Oh, HE IS GOOD!
You see, in times like today, this is our purpose. This is why the church is here. We are the light, we are the hope and just because we cannot meet on Sunday’s does not mean that the purpose of the Church is disqualified. No, we are qualified, and we are called for a time such as this. Christ’s Church will shine bright and do incredible things in this moment when we take the time to remember Who we know and Whom we trust in.
Today, many of us are in places of uncertainty. We have our jobs, our families and for us pastors we have church families we love. By now there are people we know who have COVID19 and we are praying for their healing. Some of you are on the frontlines working on medical teams responding to this battle against an invisible foe. Maybe you are a small business owner and the more time government adds to the stay at home measures the more temptation there is to worry. Probably all of us have reason to worry, but instead of wasting a day or a night of good sleep, how about we take the time to make the list. What are 5 reasons according to God why we do not have to worry? Make the list and prayerfully meditate on each truth you find in God’s Word. Think upon today’s scripture and get it down inside of you. Instead of worrying you will be saying to yourself, “Oh, God is Good!”