A virus that started in a province in China is now a pandemic with huge global implications. Each day brings new information and changes to our lives. Today, our governor issued a shelter in place order for all Georgians to respect and follow. Not even thinkable three weeks ago! So much uncertainty in our world today.
I have a few thoughts I wanted to share that you might resonate with at a deeper level, because I think we’ve all experienced that uncertainty can sometimes lead to disappointments.
My son and I left the grocery store this evening and our cashier, a handsome young man, shared with us his disappointment over not being able to graduate high school with a ceremony.
My wife and I cancelled our trip – long in the making – to Scotland and London to celebrate our 30-year wedding anniversary and see our son who was studying abroad. For us, there were two disappointments involved: cancelling the trip, and our son being sent home early to finish his studies stateside.
We also have friends whose children have had to postpone their wedding or wed virtually with parents not able to attend! Even the CDC is providing guidance to families regarding funerals during this uncertain season.
Each of these scenarios are disappointing, and I’m sure you could name many more you or someone close to you has experienced. What I want to do is simply help lift our eyes above the uncertainties and disappointments and look for the silver linings. For example, we are thankful our son is home safe, and that we are safe and not stuck in another country unable to get home. Our cashier will graduate from high school with a solid degree. That’s all good! It just didn’t happen as we planned it to.
Christ said in John 16:33, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world.”
Jesus himself experienced disappointment. The night of his betrayal, his own disciples slept even after Jesus asked them to stay awake and pray. At his deepest point of need, he was disappointed in his closest disciples. Yet, the disciples were living with great uncertainty as to the things Jesus was sharing with them. We have to love this verse; however, in that Jesus says he has overcome the world and for us to take heart! That doesn’t sound disappointing; that actually sounds really good considering our present day’s challenges.
To take heart means to take courage. Despite the circumstances we face today, the victory of Jesus in that he has overcome the world outweighs the mess of the present crisis. No matter what happens in our current pandemic, as Christ followers, we can rest in His words to us. When you have an opportunity, take some time to re-read Romans 8. For now, I’d like to point out Romans 8:38 where Paul says, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation (like a virus) will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
So my friend, take heart today. These uncertainties and disappointments are real as a result of the changes this virus has brought to us. However, these challenges are but a reminder that we will have trouble, but Jesus has overcome the world. Now that should give us courage!